Perspectives on UK’s Research Strengths
December 2, 2010, London
HEPI Conference
Dr Nick Fowler, Director of Strategy, Elsevier
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Overview of Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) Information industry
Products
Customers
Other
Databases and
online tools
Journals,
print and E
Books, print and E
Source: Simba
Individuals
Academic and
government
institutions
R&D-intensive
corporations
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Science publishers have a privileged vantage point on science
Each year
• 3 million articles submitted
• 300,000 peer reviewers
• 1.5 million articles published
• 30 million readers
• 2 billion digital article downloads
• 30 million article citations
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Publication impact, societal impact: Nobel prize examples
2010 Nobel Prize winner
Idea
Publication impact
Societal impact
IVF
44x average
4 million births
Medicine
Robert Edwards
Physics
Andrew Geim, Konstantin Novoslev
Graphene
23x average
Faster computers,
lighter aeroplanes
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Articles published
UK, research articles published: 2003-2009


UK researchers authored 114,000+ articles in 2009
The number of articles authored by UK researchers grew on average by 3.3% per year from 2003-2009, vs. 4.0% globally
Note: Data shows UK’s article outputs (research articles, reviews and conference papers) per year, 2003-09. Growth rates are CAGR calculated over the period 2003-09.
Source: Scopus
R&D funding inputs vs. published article outputs by country
1,000,000
Logarithmic scales
United States
log Articles 2008
Articles published, 2008
China
100,000
United Kingdom
Germany
Japan
France
Canada
Italy
Spain
India
Australia
Korea
Brazil
Netherlands
Russian Federation
Switzerland
Sweden
Belgium
Iran Denmark Israel
Austria
Greece
Finland
Czech RepublicNorway
Mexico
Hong Kong
Portugal Singapore
New Zealand
Argentina Ireland South Africa
Thailand
Hungary
Ukraine
Romania
Egypt
Chile
Malaysia
Slovakia
Pakistan
Slovenia
Croatia
Bulgaria
Serbia
Tunisia
Colombia
Saudi Arabia
Poland
10,000
Algeria
Lithuania
Estonia
Indonesia
Kuwait
Philippines
Uruguay
Cyprus
Iceland
Peru
Armenia
Sri Lanka
Ethiopia
1,000
Turkey
Morocco
Belarus
100
10
100
1,000
10,000
Gross Expenditure on R&D ($Millions)
log GERD (million current PPP $)
100,000
1,000,000
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Share of global R&D spending, 2006 and 2015
2015
2006
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Global share of total articles published
Share of published journal articles, 1996-2020 (projected)
Year
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UK, impact of research outputs: 2003-2008
International collaboration rate
Size of bubble proportional to 5-year article output
Citations per article

UK articles are cited on average 5.8 times vs. 4.6 for the world average

In terms of Impact, UK ‘punches above its weight’

UK’s growing publication impact is associated with growing levels of international collaboration
Note: Data shows UK’s article outputs (research articles, reviews and conference papers) and shares using 5 year periods, e.g. 2008 corresponds to 2004-2008 publications .
Source: Scopus
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International collaboration rate
UK research outputs: rates of collaboration rate

Science is becoming more collaborative: the percent of articles co-authored by researchers residing in separate countries increased from 26% in
2003 to 33% in 2008

The UK’s rate of international collaboration is significantly higher: 41% of articles were co-authored with non-UK researchers in 2008
Note: Data shows proportion of article outputs representing international collaboration (where one or more other countries are listed in the author address) in 5-year periods, e.g. 2008 corresponds
to 2004-2008 publications and 2004-2008 citations.
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Source: Scopus
Field-weighted relative impact
International collaboration rates correlates strongly with publication impact
1
2
3
4
Number of collaborating countries (where 1 = domestic)
5

International scientific collaboration is generally acknowledged as a positive force driving national impact and prestige

Domestic articles (‘1’) have no collaboration partners have around 3 times fewer citations per article than those with four collaborating countries (‘5’)
Source: Scopus
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UK: international collaboration
Note: Collaboration relationships are shown for the UK and its local collaboration environment. Articles are counted in a 5-year window (i.e. 2004-08 citations to 2004-08 articles) and are represented as variablethickness lines (edges) between countries (nodes). Line thickness represents the share of collaboration to or from the connected countries. Lines are only shown where greater than 1,000 collaborative articles in this
period. Visualisation is by the Force Atlas algorithm, which treats the network of edges as a system of interconnected springs and seeks to satisfy the tension of all edges simultaneously in a 2D rendering; hence,
countries sharing a collaborative relationship tend to group together, while those that do not are placed further apart.
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Source: Scopus
Scientists are more mobile
Destinations of researchers formerly affiliated with UK institutions
Top destinations for UK-based researchers
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
US
Germany
France
Australia
Canada
Italy
Netherlands
Spain
Japan
China
Source: Scopus
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Map of UK research strengths, 2009
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UK distinctive competency example
Application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology in clinical neurophysiology

Large, fast-growing area of research (20,000 articles in 2009); UK has 24% share, cites more recent research than the US

Leading UK institutions: UCL, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham

Most prolific author: from University of Birmingham

Most prolific and most cited institution: UCL
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UK distinctive competency example
Acute Psychiatric Nursing

Of all areas of research strength, UK leads by the greatest margin in Acute Psychiatric Nursing: 3x US articles, 2x US citations

Leadership driven by King’s College London, City University, U. of Central Lancaster, U. of Manchester and U of Nottingham
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UK distinctive competency example
Climate change and sea levels

UK slightly less prolific than US, but more highly cited. Leading institutions in the world include BAS, Oxford, Reading, Bristol and Durham

Effective collaboration among UK researchers across disciplinary and institutional boundaries to create a national strength

Example: second most highly cited article: physicists, computer scientists (Oxford), climate modellers (Met Office, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory),
earth scientist (Open University), time-series analyst (LSE), meteorologist (U of Reading)
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UK universities: volume vs impact of outputs
Research Selective
Field weighted relative citation index (2003-2007)
2.00
Research Intensive
1.80
1.60
1.40
1.20
World Average
1.00
0.80
Median FWRI per group
Russell Group
1.50
94 Group
1.38
Others
0.87
0.60
0.40
0.20
RG
94G
Others
0.00
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
Articles 2007
5000
6000

No UK university appears in more than 160 (40%) of UK’s distinctive research competencies

Both Russell Group and non-Russell Group are highly cited relative to the world average

Effective collaboration by UK researchers across all types of institutions at the level of highly specific sub-fields drives UK’s overall impact
Source: Analysis based on Scopus data
7000
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UK research strengths vs. other global leaders
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Implications of observations are challenging
Observations
Challenges
1. R&D spending drives R&D outputs, and new
• How to hold and grow share given global shift
global leaders are emerging
2. Science is becoming more collaborative
• How to find and build links with the right partners
3. Scientists are more mobile geographically
• How to identify, attract and retain the best
4. Science is becoming more interdisciplinary
• How to allocate funds across subjects and departments
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Collaboration area (1 of 4): quality content to drive research efficiency

Science information: less than 1% of universities’ spending, but drives the efficiency and effectiveness of the remaining 99%

A 2x increase in article downloads is associated with a 3x increase in articles authored, a 2.7x increase in PhDs granted, and a 4x increase in grants won

Effective research institutions drive societal and economic benefits
Source: “E-journals, their use, value and impact”, 2009 RIN/Ciber
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Collaboration area (2 of 4): enhanced access to scientific research data
Very high importance , very high satisfaction
High importance , low satisfaction
Publishers are working to facilitate access to experimental data sets
 Link data sets to journal articles, e.g. Pangaea, CCDC
 Support and drive guidelines with key partners, e.g. Wellcome Trust, NSF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Source: 3823 researcher respondents, PRC global access vs. Importance study
http://www.publishingresearch.net/
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Collaboration area (3 of 4): amplified evidence to inform science policy
+

Example, the UCL/Lancet commission: 29 researchers, 13 UCL departments examined the Health Effects of Climate Change.

Report was the most requested in Scopus of 7,500+ UCL-authored articles and was in the top 1% of most downloaded articles from ScienceDirect.

Findings discussed at a meeting of commonwealth health ministers, and mentioned at the World Health Assembly

Other Lancet commissions: the future of health and development with the LSHTM to coincide with the UN Summit held in New York; with UCL on
Healthy Cities; with Harvard on the future of health professional education.
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Collaboration area (4 of 4): tailored information to manage research impact

Project to develop metrics and tools to help institutions maximise the impact of their research investments

Institutional and national decision-making: needs data and analysis of collaboration networks, research strengths, and emerging hot spots of research
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Summary
Quality of life
Quality research
Quality information
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