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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

09 Oct 2017

JRC study shows strong relationship between openness of a nation and its research impact

A joint study by the JRC and Ohio State university, published in Nature this week, shows that countries hoping to boost scientific impact should favour international exchange and collaboration. This correlation holds regardless of a country’s spending on research and development (R&D) or the number of articles it publishes. The study offers strong support to the open rationale of Horizon 2020.

The authors of the study analysed science expenditure and article and citation data for 2.5 million scholarly publications from 2013 across 33 countries. They also combined metrics of international co-authorship and the mobility of the research workforce. The researchers believe the correlation exists because open countries produce highly creative and innovative science. Some small nations, such as Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands, punch above their weight in terms of population size and science spending. Others — notably South Korea — are making less of an impact despite their R&D spending being comparatively high. EU Member States also perform well together. Unlike the US, the EU-28 has maintained its share of the world's top 10% most highly cited publications, in the face of strong competition from China and elsewhere.

Continuing to be open to the world - maximising collaboration in European research systems through enhanced cooperation within the EU and with third countries - is likely to further enhance the scientific performance of the EU and its Member States.

For more information:

JRC - News

Nature Report "Open Countries Have Strong Science"

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