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NSF report 2019: India ranks world’s 3rd largest producer of scientific articles;China tops

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On December 18, 2019 The United States(US) govt agency National Science Foundation (NSF) released a data ‘Science and Engineering Indicators 2019’ on the number of scientific papers published worldwide for the year 2019. As per the data, India was ranked as the world’s 3rd largest publisher of science and engineering(S&E) articles. The list was topped by China followed by the United States (US) at 2nd place. The data in detail are as follows:India is world's third largest producer of scientific articlesNational Science Foundation Data:

i.Report on India: 

  • India published 48,998 science and engineering articles in 2008. In over 10 years , this count has increased to 1,35,788 articles in 2018 at an average annual growth rate of 10.73%.
  • India now accounts for 5.31% of the total world publications in science and engineering.
  • India’s global output share rose from 2% to 5% from 2000 to 2018.
  • India & China were more specialised in engineering articles.

ii.General Reports: 

  • China: China, accounted for 20.67% of worldwide publicationsChina’s publications increased from around 2.5lakhs in 2008 to 5.3 lakhs in 2018. It has a growth rate of 7.81% per annum.China produced 5% of the global output in 2000 and grew to 21% in 2018.
    • Research output: China’s rate of research output grew almost twice as fast as the world’s annual average for the last 10 years.
  • United States: China was  followed by the US at 16.54% making it rank at the third place on the list. Publications by US  grew at a rate of 0.71%  from 3.9lakhs in 2008 to 4.2lakhs in 2018.
    • Research output: The output of the US and the European Union (EU) has grown at less than half the world’s annual growth rate.
  • Other top ranked countries: The other countries which made it to the top 10 list were Germany (4th rank), Japan (5th rank), United Kingdom (6th rank), Russia (7th rank), Italy (8th rank), South Korea (9th rank) and France (10th rank).
  • Countries with above average growth rate: Among the 15 largest publication producers, countries with higher than average growth rates were South Korea(4%), Brazil(5%),China (8%), Russia (10%), India (11%) and Iran(11%).
  • The US, the EU (European Union) and Japan are more specialised in health sciences related articles in publishing.
  • Worldwide publishing: The no. of scientific papers published worldwide increased from 17.5 lakhs in 2008 to 25.5 lakhs in 2018.
  • S&E article growth: The S&E journal articles and conference papers, grew about 4%  annually over the last 10 years.


Rank Country
2United States.

About National Science Foundation(NSF):
Fact- The NSF supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering.
Founded- 10 May 1950.
Founder- Vannevar Bush.
Director- France Anne-Dominic Córdova.
Headquarters- United States(US).