A report on comparative research performance for the UK Government finds the nation “punches above its weight,” (but then, again don’t all nations). “The UK remains well-rounded across most fields of research, and is a highly productive research nation in relation to articles and citation outputs per researcher and per unit of R&D expenditure, despite broadly stable or decreasing inputs in relative terms.”
The report compares the UK performance against comparable countries, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and coming competitors, Brazil, India, Russia and South Korea. But this is not the research-Ashes and curiously there are only incidental references to Australia – maybe it was us or the Canadians.
However despite the UK PAIW, the news is not all good – no, it’s not underfunding, (this is a report to a government in power for seven years) it is energetic competitors.
Including Italians, who now produce more articles by researcher than the UK and the comparative set. And China, where the share of the world’s top 1 per cent of highly-cited articles doubled to 20 per cent between 2010 and 2014. China overtook the UK for global share of highly-cited articles in 2013. Somewhere in China a comrade sub-editor is writing a headline about the PRC PAIW.