Science in Japan, 2008-2012

February 2014

Japan’s world share of science and social-science papers over a recent five-year period, ranked according to percentage of papers in each of 21 main fields indexed by Thomson Reuters. Also, Japan’s relative citation impact compared to the world average in each field, in percentage terms. These figures are derived from Thomson Reuters InCites, a subset of the Web of Science.

Field Percentage of papers from Japan Number of papers from Japan Relative impact compared to world average in field (%)
Physics 9.79 51,960 +5
Biology & Biochemistry 9.03 27,111 -17
Pharmacology & Toxicology 8.18 13,394 -16
Materials Science 7.82 22,926 Even
Space Science 7.82 5,028 +21
Chemistry 7.52 51,505 +3
Molecular Biology & Genetics 7.33 12,606 -2
Clinical Medicine 6.67 77,452 -13
Neuroscience & Behavior 6.58 13,772 -17
Microbiology 6.50 5,329 -9

Japan's overall percent share, all fields: 6.22

Plant & Animal Science 6.09 18,771 +1
Geosciences 6.06 10,363 +2
Immunology 5.67 5,802 +1
Engineering 5.36 25,671 -18
Agricultural Sciences 4.71 8,194 -16
Computer Science 4.57 6,348 -22
Mathematics 4.54 7,717 -15
Environment/Ecology 3.48 5,921 -12
Economics & Business 2.15 2,375 -49
Psychiatry/Psychology 1.76 2,818 -27
Social Sciences 1.21 4,318 +1

Between 2008 and 2012, Thomson Reuters indexed 383,433 papers that listed at least one author address in Japan. Of those papers, the highest percentage appeared in journals classified under the main heading of Physics, followed by Biology & Biochemistry and Pharmacology & Toxicology.

As the right-hand column shows, the citations-per-paper average, or impact, of Physics papers featuring authors based in Japan exceeded the world average for the field by 5% (5.75 citations per paper for Japan versus the world mark of 5.48 citations). Demonstrating comparative strength in the physical sciences as opposed to biomedical areas, Japan’s performance in relative citation impact was also notable in Space Science (21% above the world mark) and Chemistry (+3%). In Materials Science, Japan’s impact score happened to match the world figure precisely: 4.66 cites per paper.

SOURCE: Thomson Reuters Web of Science

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.