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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Look Ma - 2nd Top Of The World - UK In Total Number, Scotland Per Capita

  My last post was about Britain, and Scotland's, role in world science. Britain are the third in total and per capita ahead of any sizable country, Scotland of any other country.

   But looking at it again there is a good case that we are doing better than I thought

   This was the figure by scientific papers being cited by somebody. But the number of such mentions is different  many of these which are self citations .
A self-citation is a reference an author provide in a document to other documents written by himself.
   It is possible authors may be biased. Both the leaders, the US & China are almost 50% self citations & in China's case the average number of citations per document is far lower. Most of the rest ruin at about 25%

  Taking away the number of self citations from the total, in thousands, and dividing by the population gives us:

USA           53,839      171.5 citations per thousand citizens
China           4,460           3.3        "       "          "          "
G. Britain     18,623     300.4        "       "           "          "
Japan         11,498         89.8
Germany     15,025      181.0
France        10,847      166.9
Canada        9,781       279.5
Italy            7,545        123.7
Spain           4,880       106.1
India            2,109           1.7
Australia       5,551       241.3
Russia          1,719         12.0
Netherlands   6,464      380.2
South Korea  2,575       51.5
Brazil            1,626          8.5
Switzerland    5,159     653.0
Taiwan          1,796        77.1
Sweden         4,505      474.2
Poland           1,356        35.2
Belguim          3,066      283.9
Turkey              998        13.4
Israel             2,465       312.4
Austria           1,988      235.3
Denmark         2,562     458.8
Finland           2,033      376.5
Greece           1,097      101.6
Hong Kong      1,232    173.5
Mexico              783         7.0
Norway           1,455    291.0
Czechs              707        67.3
Iran                  294           3.9
Singapore        1,251    245.3
New Zealand    1,091   246.2

Scotland            2,979   573.8
[Scottish figures are not available from the main chart here but they are compared with UK ones here. We have 16% of the UK total.. We have 8.3% of the population. Thus our figures should be 191% of the UK's]

   This basically shows an enhancement of the differences between the original listing. The countries are still listed by original results not this refinement.

   Britain now places second in the world in total citations - China's total having collapsed - at 1/3rd of the US total, with 1/6th of the population.

    However those small countries which had a high per capita ratio of good science have an even higher one when it comes to citations, by other people, of their papers. Those who do a lot of important, heavily cited, scientific papers are doing an even higher proportion of the most important and most heavily cited ones.

   Britain comes behind  Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland again. We also come behind Denmark and Israel now. Israel having had a surprisingly low score, considering its obvious technological achievements, I still think Switzerland's role is inflated by its role in the invention of new medicines which require an inordinate amount of material to be made public.

   Scotland, which on the previous measure was ahead of even Switzerland, now places behind them but still ahead of everybody else in the world.

    If that is not something worthy of an awful lot more legitimate national pride (in both nations) than any Olympics showing I don't know what would be. I don't even know what would be a greater sign of the inherent good we could do in the race of human progress, any time those in charge were willing to allow it.

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