Despite a government goal of becoming a global leader in science and technology, Japan actually slid one place to a record low 13th in most-cited scientific papers in the latest ranking.
Iran overtook Japan in the listing based on the top 10 percent of such papers most cited in other research works, according to a science ministry report released on Aug. 8.
The report, Japanese Science and Technology Indicators 2023, covers the total number of scientific papers as well as the number of such papers in the top 10 percent and the top 1 percent of those most cited in other research papers.
The latest rankings, calculated by the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, a science ministry affiliate, are based on the average numbers between 2019 and 2021.
“The total number of scientific papers produced in Japan has increased since the mid-2010s, and the number of most-cited papers has also shown signs of bottoming out,” said an institute official.
“But Japan has been unable to climb the ladder because other countries have made greater strides.”
Japan was fifth in terms of the total number of scientific papers, unchanged from the previous ranking based on the 2018-2020 average.
But Japan dropped to 12th in the top 1 percent ranking after being overtaken by Spain and South Korea.
In the previous top 10 percent ranking, the same two countries had knocked Japan out of the top 10.
Japan stayed among the world’s top five until the mid-2000s, but its ranking has since fallen.
China topped the list in the total number of scientific papers as well as the number of such papers in the top 10 percent and the top 1 percent of those most cited in other research works.
The United States placed second in all three categories.
In the total number of scientific papers, India replaced Germany in third place.
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Ranking in top 10 percent of most-cited scientific papers
10. South Korea
(Based on the average number of papers in 2019-2021)
Source : Asahi Shimbun