Nautilus

Location of authorship and quality in nanotechnology research

According to the Editorial in the June issue of Nature Nanotechnology 3, 309 (2008), “when the papers published so far in Nature Nanotechnology are classified according to the country in which the corresponding author was based at the time, we find that 47.6% of them come from the US, followed by 8% from the UK, 7.4% from Japan and 6.7% from Germany.

Classifying papers according to the affiliation of the corresponding author is clearly an approximation, but given the fact that papers can contain ten or more authors with affiliations in three or more countries, it is necessary to make such approximations if we want to understand which areas of the world are strongest” in a particular discipline.

The Editorial goes on to explain some of its “authorship” assumptions used for its analysis of several journals that publish high-quality research in the nanotechnology, leading to the conclusion that “although the number of nanotechnology papers published by Chinese researchers is increasing rapidly, the US and Europe continue to lead in terms of quality.”

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