Web of Science data uncovers links between G20 nations’ response to COVID-19 and research subject diversity
London, U.K., October 19, 2021: Clarivate Plc (NYSE:CLVT), a global leader in providing trusted information and insights to accelerate the pace of innovation, today launched a new report which examines the research performance of each of the member countries of the G20 with a visual comparative snapshot for each nation. It also includes a special analysis of the G20 members’ COVID-19 research as indexed in the Web of Science™ research publication and citation index.
The report, The Annual G20 Scorecard – Research Performance 2021 has been created by the Institute for Scientific Information™ at Clarivate ahead of this year’s G20 Summit, which will be hosted virtually by Rome, Italy on October 30-31. It includes both a written summary and an array of graphs and exhibits that highlight the research performance of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mainland China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The report focuses on the different national responses to COVID-19 and the link to each region’s research investment and subject diversity. It finds that regions with more even research bases, especially the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, tend to support a response across a wider range of COVID-19 topics. Other G20 nations with less even research bases tend toward a more specialized response. However, one notable exception is Brazil, where a less diverse research base has responded strongly to COVID-19, reflecting the relevant strengths in its research portfolio, particularly around biosciences.
Jonathan Adams, Director at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate and a co-author of this annual report said: “The G20 meeting is a crucial forum for international co-operation and it’s increasingly important to understand how the world’s leading economies are using their expertise and resources to address the world’s present and future challenges. The overall pattern in COVID-19 research that we see from our analysis is clear: as in economics, diversity in national portfolios enables a rapid and agile response. These scorecards will help policymakers, observers and reporters to understand the strengths and opportunities of G20 member nations during this global crisis and beyond.”
The national research profiles within the report are selective, highlighting chosen topics of current policy interest that identify good signals of the health of the research base for each G20 member nation. Key factors that contribute to impactful research are laid out for each nation in the report and benchmarked.
Some key findings include:
- In Australia output has doubled in a decade and continues to rise, driven by exceptional international collaboration.
- Brazil’s output is rising both domestically and for international collaboration. Open access output is very strong across most disciplines – especially for international papers.
- Mainland China boasts an enormous research workforce and a large volume of investment (more than two million researchers, Gross Expenditure on R&D [GERD] over 2% of GDP). The domestic research base is diversifying and growing in all areas with an expanding focus on social sciences on top of its solid technology base.
- In Germany, investment is higher than EU neighbors, with GERD over 3% of GDP, while output per researcher is around G20 average. The citation impact of the research is relatively good, especially in life sciences, and it has a 14% share of the world’s top 10% of papers.
- In Italy, productivity per GERD is well above G20 average. Citation impact is good in all areas and the impact of domestic research is rising, while average performance is further boosted by international collaboration, which accounts for 55% of total output.
- Research investment in Mexico is low and continues to fall (GERD/GDP is 0.28%), but rising output is boosted by high and rising productivity. Citation impact is now slowing including international collaboration.
- Productivity in South Africa is high and output has been rising. There are consistently high levels of publication via open access across disciplines and the country has the second highest proportion of female researchers (45%).
- In South Korea, a large workforce and the highest G20 GERD/GDP (4.6%) translate into strong academic output in engineering, reflecting excellent private sector funding and activity. Levels of publication via open access models are rising in all areas.
- For the United Kingdom, the share of papers in the global top 10% (16.2% and rising) is the highest in the G20. International collaboration is exceptionally high, and rising, for such a large economy. The proportion of female researchers (39%) is above G20 average.
- In the United States, although investment is rising, output has plateaued, and output/researcher has fallen below the G20 average.
Joel Haspel, SVP Strategy, Science at Clarivate said: “The world’s strongest economies are clear drivers of research and innovation, which underpin the progress of society. The Institute for Scientific Information is uniquely placed to analyze and report on the comparative health of each G20 nation’s research portfolio, setting Web of Science data alongside other key metrics on people, finance and patenting to help us more deeply understand their role in addressing the many challenges our world faces – from the pandemic to climate change to gender equality. By contributing to the conversation around G20 performance, Clarivate data is continuing to accelerate innovation and help to solve the world’s most pressing problems.”
Notes to editors:
Report authors are available for interview.
The G20 is a group of 19 leading economies, with the EU as the additional 20th member. Collectively the 19 countries of the G20 represent two-thirds of the world’s population, produce 80% of global GDP, spend 93% of global R&D, employ 89% of the world’s researchers and publish 83% of the global research papers indexed in the Web of Science with more than five million articles and reviews indexed for the last three years.
See a full list of Global Research Reports from the Institute for Scientific Information: https://clarivate.com/webofsciencegroup/solutions/isi-reports/
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Rebecca Krahenbuhl, External Communications Manager, Science