Study on Chinese Authorship Reveals Increase in International Collaboration Amongst Scientists

Robert Gordon University research monitor trends of Chinese science development

Beijing 19 December, 2005 – Research from the Robert Gordon University in Scotland, examining patterns of Chinese international co-authorship and the impact of Elsevier journals, has delivered a unique insight into scientific publishing trends in China. In ”Scientific Co-Authorship in China: an Examination of Co-Authoring Patterns and the Impact of Elsevier”, authors Joe Royle, Louisa Coles and Dorothy Williams sampled 429 journals, containing a total 37,526 articles from all Elsevier subject areas.

According to the research, 9.4% of Elsevier articles had at least one Chinese author, which compares favourably with the wider Chinese world share of 6.52%. Of these articles one fifth are based on international collaborations, indicating that within Elsevier journals, patterns of Chinese authorship are in line with trends in wider global authorship. Academics from the United States, Japan and Germany represent the top three countries with whom Chinese Elsevier authors collaborate, reflecting widely observed world shares in publishing.

There are also signs that China is increasingly shaping the way research is undertaken and presented in Elsevier journals. The subject areas of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics, and Chemistry are singled out as areas where Chinese international collaboration is gaining significant influence.

Paul Evans, Vice President, China, Science & Technology, Elsevier said: “We are very excited that Elsevier is able to make a contribution in promoting Chinese scientific research globally. Elsevier will continue to explore more opportunities to help Chinese authors achieve international recognition. Based on the trends of Chinese scientific development, we predict that by 2010 China will rank number two after the USA in publishing scientific research papers. By sponsoring the study from the Robert Gordon University we aim to ensure this trend is properly studied academically.”

Prof. Zheng Li, the Elsevier endowed professor at Tsinghua University commented: “This study provides the baseline for Chinese scientific workers to monitor the trends of Chinese science development. As a fervent supporter of increased international co-operation between China and the rest of the world, I greatly support this study and would advocate further research of this kind in the future.”

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Notes to Editors:
For a copy of the study, please contact Karen Jiang at

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Media Contact:
Karen Jiang, PR Manager,
Elsevier S&T China
Phone +86 10 85185800 ext.285