Measuring Research Impact at the European Championship

With the first games of Match Day 2 kicking off tomorrow, let’s take a look at Group C, which includes the national teams of Germany, Northern Ireland, Poland and Ukraine. With Germany and Poland tied to win the group after shutouts against Ukraine and Northern Ireland respectively, Match Day 2 will be a true test for the defending FIFA World Cup Champions, Germany.

Using InCites, we can measure the level of each country’s Impact Relative to the World. 

Looking at Group C, we see that of the four nations, Germany has the highest impact with 1.61, while Northern Ireland comes in a close second with an impact of 1.506.

This indicator measures the Citation Impact of the set of publications as a ratio of world average. Any numerical value that is greater than 1 shows that the country is performing above the world average.


By the measure of percentage of documents among the top 10% most cited, Germany and Northern Ireland are neck and neck, outperforming their competitors by a significant margin. Group C_top 10%

Looking at the Category Normalized Citation Impact, we see that Germany is still the top performer, but Ukraine outperforms Poland by quite a margin. Will they do the same on the pitch?CNCI Group C

Because reigning FIFA World Cup champion Germany seems to be the top competitor in the group, let’s dive deeper and learn more about the specialty areas in which Germany is producing the most research.

Looking at InCites Research Areas, we see that Germany is producing the most research in the field of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, with more than 25,000 documents indexed in the Web of Science since 2012.

InCites Research Areas Treemap (6)

Now let’s turn our attention to Group D. On the pitch they’re known as the Group of Death because of the number of strong competitors.  Are they as equally matched in research performance? Within this group you’ll find three-time European Cup Champions Spain, along with the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Turkey.

Of the four countries, Spain has the highest impact with 1.44, followed by Croatia and the Czech Republic, who are neck and neck with only a .02 difference between them. Croatia, coming off a strong win against Turkey, will face the Czech Republic, which is hoping to bounce back after a loss to Spain. Will the Czech force be able to edge ahead of that .02 lead against Croatia on the field?


In terms of the % of Documents in the top 10%, we see less of a close race, with Spain clearly outperforming the other countries by a significant margin.

Group D_Top 10%

Looking at Category Normalized Citation Impact, it’s another close match – this time between Spain and Czech Republic, with only a .01 difference separating them! On the field, however, we saw a different story unravel, with the Spanish pulling ahead of the Czech Republic late in the game with a 1-0 win. 

Group D_CNCI

Similarly to Germany, Spain has come out on top in every analysis. The Spanish force, clad in red on the field, takes to the pitch with a title to defend. For a closer look at the reigning champions of the European Cup, let’s dive deeper into the data and learn where Spain is producing the most research.

Spain has produced the greatest quantity of papers in the area of Engineering, Electrical and Electronic with nearly 14,000 documents in the Web of Science.

Spain_Research Areas

As shown in this analysis, soccer powerhouses Germany and Spain come out on top in their impact relative to the world, but anything can happen on the field in these challenging groups. Can another country upset the current World Champions and the defending European Champions as the European Cup progresses?


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
International Co Authors at the European Championship
Scorecard of the European Championship
Scientific Productivity at the European Championship