Science in the United Kingdom, 2005-09

September 2010

The United Kingdom's world share of science and social-science papers over a recent five-year period, expressed as a percentage of papers in each of 21 fields in the Thomson Reuters database. Also, the U.K.’s relative citation impact compared to the world average in each field, in percentage terms.

Field % papers fr. U.K. Impact vs. world
Space Science 16.45 +48
Economics & Business 14.01 +9
Social Sciences 13.35 +19
Psychiatry/Psychology 12.69 +18
Molecular Biology & Genetics 10.48 +35
Geosciences 10.42 +52
Immunology 9.83 +20
Neuroscience & Behavior 9.34 +34
Clinical Medicine 9.32 +31
Microbiology 8.59 +38
Biology & Biochemistry 8.27 +35
The United Kingdom's overall percent share, all fields: 8.07
Environment/Ecology 8.03 +45
Computer Science 7.15 +21
Plant & Animal Science 7.03 +63
Engineering 6.79 +16
Physics 6.63 +48
Pharmacology & Toxicology 6.61 +48
Mathematics 5.86 +21
Chemistry 5.06 +34
Materials Science 4.69 +48
Agricultural Sciences 4.39 +57

Between 2005 and 2009, Thomson Reuters indexed 419,808 papers bearing at least one author address in a United Kingdom constituent nation (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). Of those papers, the highest percentage appeared in journals indexed in the category of space science, followed by economics & business. As the right-hand column shows, the impact of space-science papers from U.K.-based authors exceeded the world impact average in the field by 48% (11.37 cites per paper for the U.K., versus 7.69 cites for the world). The U.K.’s relative-impact performance was also notably strong in plant & animal science (63% above the world mark), agricultural sciences (57% above), and geosciences (+52%).

SOURCE: National Science Indicators, 1981-2009 (containing listings of output and citation statistics for more than 170 countries; available in standard and deluxe versions from the Research Services Group).

The data and citation records included in this report are from Thomson Reuters Web of ScienceTM. Web of ScienceTM is a registered trademark of Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.