"Nature": China's scientific research investment bears fruitful results

2022 Nature Index Annual List Released 4 Chinese Institutions Ranked in Top 10

  Our reporter Liu Xia

  【Today's Viewpoint】

  On June 16, the 2022 Nature Index 2022 annual tables were announced, showing the high-quality scientific research output of different countries and scientific research institutions in the field of natural sciences.

Among them, the performance of Chinese scientific research institutions and universities is remarkable.

According to the contribution share of key indicators of the Nature Index, China ranks second, with the largest increase among the top 10 countries.

In addition, among the 50 fastest-rising institutions from 2020 to 2021, the top 31 institutions are from China.

  In response to the excellent performance of Chinese scientific research institutions, an analysis article published on the website "Nature" pointed out that the newly released list shows that the Chinese government's long-term investment in scientific research is bearing "rich fruits", and the performance of China's scientific research community is expected to be in the next few years. year to maintain.

  China's R&D output outperforms

  "Nature" pointed out in the report that China's scientific research output is showing a blowout trend, and the performance of Jiangsu University is an example.

  On the 2022 Nature Index annual list, Jiangsu University's "adjusted share" score soared by 118% between 2020 and 2021.

  The Nature Index is an indicator showing the performance of an institution's scientific research. It uses two measures, the number of papers (Count) and the contribution share (Share), based on the papers published in 82 "Nature" scientific journals by an institution or country. Selected by an independent committee of renowned scientists.

  On the newly released natural list, there are many Chinese institutions that perform as well as Jiangsu University.

Among the 50 fastest-rising institutions in the list from 2020 to 2021, the top 31 fastest-rising institutions are all from China, and only 10 of these 50 institutions are from outside China.

This is a marked change from the 2021 list, where China accounted for only two of the top 10 fastest-rising institutions last year.

  In addition, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has topped the list of institutions in the Nature Index for ten consecutive years, with a contribution share of 1,963.00 in 2021, more than double that of Harvard University, which ranks second.

The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences ranked 8th, ranking among the top ten institutions in the world for the first time.

The other two Chinese institutions in the global top 10 are the University of Science and Technology of China (ranked 9th) and Peking University (ranked 10th).

  Moreover, compared with other scientific research powerhouses, China's overall performance is also worthy of attention.

The United States topped the list with a contribution share of 19,857.35, but its scientific research output in 2021 fell by 6.2% from the previous year, the largest decline among the top 10 countries, and its largest decline since 2017.

China ranks second, with a contribution share of 16,753.86, with a 14.4% increase in scientific research output in 2021, the largest increase among the top 10 countries in the new list - last year's increase was only 1.2%.

The third to 10th countries are Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Canada, South Korea, Switzerland and Australia.

  China increases investment in scientific research

  David Swinbanks, founder of The Nature Index, said: "The latest release of the annual Nature Index list shows that China's investment in research, through its large, well-established institutions, is on the rise. The natural sciences continue to produce research results.”

  Cao Cong, a science policy researcher at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, said that in 2021, the Chinese government's investment in scientific research will continue to increase, accounting for 2.4% of GDP.

According to data provided by the World Bank, Chinese government spending on scientific research as a percentage of China's GDP has steadily increased from 0.56% in 1996 to 2.14% in 2018.

  In 1995, China launched the "211 Project", which began a large-scale investment in scientific research. About 100 institutions of higher learning aimed at the 21st century and focused on construction received a lot of funds to develop their research capabilities.

Three years later, China launched the "985 Project", and the first batch of "985 Project" construction colleges totaled 9, and currently 39 "985 Project" universities have been approved for construction.

  On November 28, 2019, the official website of the Ministry of Education issued a statement: "Project 211" and "Project 985" and other key construction projects have been integrated into the construction of "world-class universities and first-class disciplines".

  The article cites Hamish Coates, director of higher education research at Tsinghua University, as saying that China's steady stream of funding has had an impact, meaning researchers can make plans for years to come.

The "Double First Class" strategy, for example, embodies the government's commitment to science by 2050, Coates said: "It sends a signal that the government understands how science works."

  The article also stated that for Chinese researchers, publishing papers in high-quality scientific journals is of great help to their career development. This high emphasis on publishing papers to promote career development may also partially explain why Chinese scientific research institutions are dominates the fastest growing list.

  "Nature" finally pointed out that given China's continuous investment in research and development, China's scientific research output may maintain a relatively strong growth momentum in the future.