Identifying Research Areas at the European Championship
PORTUGAL vs WALES
The red dragon continued its march on Paris and the Stade de France after Wales claimed a stunning victory against a star-studded Belgian side ranked number two in the world by FIFA. Meanwhile, Portugal progressed on penalties for the second time yet to win a game in 90 minutes. Both countries will be looking to their most prolific scorers – the Galácticos, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo – for even more goals. Away from the pitch, however, what are the research areas in which these two countries are most prolific? The three fields in which Portugal-based researchers have published the most papers over the past 10 years are Engineering, Electrical & Electronic (8,600 papers), followed by Materials Science, Multidisciplinary (6,900 papers) and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (6,500).
Over the same period, the top three scientific areas in which Welsh researchers have published the most are Neurosciences (nearly 2,500 papers) followed by Psychiatry (2,400 papers) and Oncology (2,300).
Let’s now assess the strength of both countries in the areas in which they publish most prolifically. For this exercise, we will use the Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI). If CNCI exceeds 1.00, the country is performing above the world average; less than 1.00, it is performing below the world average. Over the past 10 years, in all of the top four research areas in which Portugal-based researchers have published a significant number of papers, the nation has performed just above the world average. In the top fifth field (Chemistry, Physical) Portuguese researchers perform just below the world average.
Even though Welsh output is smaller than that of Portugal, in all top three areas in which researchers based in Wales are most prolific, the country is performing above the world average, showing particular strength in Oncology, with impact 2.1 times the world average. In the top fourth area, however (Surgery), Welsh researchers are performing below the world average (0.85).
GERMANY vs FRANCE
The reigning world champions prevailed over their angstgegner (‘bogey team’) having failed to beat Italy in any of their last eight meetings in major tournaments. The exhausting 120-minute contest ended in a penalty shoot-out in which both teams uncharacteristically failed to convert three out of five spot kicks. France, on the other hand, eased past unlikely quarter-finalists Iceland, in a 5-2 thrashing which will boost the host nation’s confidence ahead of arguably the biggest game of the tournament so far. Both countries are former European football champions with strong track records at the international level. Both countries also have very strong records in terms of research output and performing well across various scientific disciplines.
The top three scientific areas in which German researchers have published the most over the past 10 years, with totals exceeding 53,000 publications in each field, are Biochemistry & Molecular Biology followed by Engineering, Electrical & Electronic and Materials Science, Multidisciplinary.
Over the same 10-year period, the top three fields in which France-based researchers have published the most are identical to Germnay’s, but differ in order: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic (51,800 reports ) followed by Materials Science, Multidisciplinary (40,100) and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (37,100). Both countries, in fact, share the same scientific interests as reflected in their respective top five most-prolific research areas, although Germany’s output exceeds France’s in each field.
In the two nations’ most productive research areas, which are the highest-impact journals in which German and French researchers publish? For this exercise, we turn to the Journal Impact Factor (JIF). The 2015 JIF shows the average number of times that articles from a journal published in the past two years have been cited in 2015. Note that it only makes sense to compare the JIF of journals within the same disciplinary category.
As we noted previously, German researchers are most productive in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. In this category Germany-based researchers have published more than 3,500 papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. For this journal, JIF is 4.258 and Quartile in Category is Q1. (In the latter measure, Q1 indicates that the journal is amongst the Top 25% journals in its category.) The next-highest-impact journal in the category is Plos One (nearly 2,000 papers from German institutions) with a JIF of 3.057 and Quartile in Category at Q1). Third, FASEB Journal (1,700 papers from Germany-based authors) with a JIF is 5.299 and a Quartile in Category score of Q1).
French researchers are most productive in Engineering, Electrical & Electronic. In this category, French researchers have published 740 papers in IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science. For this journal, JIF is 1.198 and Quartile in Category is Q3. Next is IEEE Transactions on Magnetics (696 papers from France-based authors), with a JIF of 1.277 and Quartile in Category is Q2. (A Quartile in Category mark of Q2 indicates that the journal is amongst the top 25%-50% journals in its category, while Q3 denotes the top 50%-75% journals.) Third is Microelectronic Engineering (609 papers), with a JIF of 1.277 and a Quartile in Category mark of Q2.
We’ll be giving our InCites into the Euros for the remainder of the tournament, so be sure to follow along here on the blog and on Twitter using #EuroInCites.
Did you miss any of our EuroInCites posts? Catch up now:
International Collaboration at the European Championship
Measuring Research Impact at the European Championship
International Co Authors at the European Championship
Scorecard of the European Championship
Scientific Productivity at the European Championship
Measuring Research Output at the European Championship