Britain as a research nation

UK ranks highly but must maintain investment to stay ahead

The UK “punches above its weight as a research nation,” notes an Elsevier report commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

In 2014, the UK represented just 0.9 per cent of global population, 2.7 per cent of R&D expenditure, and 4.1 per cent of researchers, while accounting for 9.9 per cent of downloads, 10.7 per cent of citations and 15.2 per cent of the world's most highly-cited articles.

But the report express concern about global competition - and the improving performance of China in particular. “Although there is no doubt that the UK is well-positioned to remain a leader on the global research stage,” it says, “this can only be sustained by continued investment in its national research base.”



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