Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 16:09 EDT

UK Continues to Punch Above its Weight in the Research Arena

December 6, 2013

LONDON, December 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

Most productive relative to R&D spend compared to the world’s major research nations

The UK remains a global research heavyweight according to a new report launched today
by the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The ‘International
Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base 2013
[https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/performance-of-the-uk-research-base-international-comparison-2013 ]
‘ report has been produced by Elsevier’s SciVal
[http://info.scival.com ] Analytics team and is based on Scopus data and numerous other

The report shows that while the UK represents just 0.9% of the global population, it
accounts for 3.2% of R&D expenditure, 4.1% of researchers, 6.4% of research articles, 9.5%
of research article downloads and 15.9% of the world’s most highly-cited articles. In
terms of research quality, as measured by field-weighted citation impact, the UK has
overtaken the US and now ranks first amongst the comparator countries used in the report.
These include the world’s most research-intensive nations – the US, China, Japan, Germany,
Italy, Canada and France. UK research also clearly drives global innovation: its research
is the second most frequently cited in global patents after Germany. The UK is the most
productive research nation in terms of articles and citations per unit R&D expenditure
ranking first amongst comparator countries on these two indicators.

The report shows that by volume of articles published the UK is a well-rounded
research nation. Compared to ten years ago, and relative to the world average, the UK has
increased its emphasis on social science and business but has produced proportionally
fewer articles in biological, environmental and physical sciences, mathematics and
engineering. Several of the comparator countries, including China, Japan and Russia, focus
more strongly on those areas than the UK.

The UK occupies a central position in global networks of collaboration. Amongst its
comparator countries, it has the second-highest rate of international co-authorship, after
France, and this rate continues to rise. International co-authorship is associated with
high publication impact.

Researchers are the engine that drives the progress of research, and a country’s
research base is critically dependent on the individual contributions of the researchers
affiliated with its research institutions. Although the UK researcher count is broadly
stable (increasing at just 0.9% per year), this figure masks greater underlying increases
in researcher numbers in the Higher Education sector, and the high degree of international
mobility amongst active UK researchers which means that the UK researcher population is
constantly refreshing.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said, “This report clearly
demonstrates the continued strength of our science research base and that the UK continues
to punch above its weight. I’ve often said that I want the UK to be the best place in the
world to do science and this research shows that we are well on our way to achieving this
goal. An excellent research base contributes directly to economic growth and is keeping us
at the forefront of the global science race.”

“We consider it a privilege to have been engaged by BIS to deliver this report,” said
Nick Fowler, Managing Director of Academic and Government Institutions for Elsevier. We
hope that the metrics that we have generated using SciVal’s big data technology and the
insights that our SciVal Analytics team have drawn from them will provide a useful and
objective basis upon which to formulate future UK research policy.”

About Department of Business Innovation and Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)
[https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills ] is
the department for economic growth. The department invests in skills and education to
promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. BIS also
protects consumers and reduces the impact of regulation.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information
products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health
communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet
[http://www.thelancet.com ] and Cell [http://www.cell.com ], and close to 20,000 book
titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online
solutions include ScienceDirect [http://www.sciencedirect.com ], Scopus
[http://www.scopus.com ], SciVal [http://info.scival.com ], Reaxys
[http://www.elsevier.com/reaxys ], ClinicalKey [https://www.clinicalkey.com ] and Mosby’s
Suite [http://www.confidenceconnected.com ], which enhance the productivity of science and
health professionals, helping research and health care institutions deliver better
outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier [http://www.elsevier.com ]
employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC
[http://www.reedelsevier.com ], a world leading provider of professional information
solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly
owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext
Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

        Media contact
        Iris Kisjes

SOURCE Elsevier

Source: PR Newswire