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Is the United States losing ground in science? 
A global perspective on the world science system in 2005

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Loet Leydesdorff and Caroline Wagner 


Based on the Science Citation Index-Expanded web-version, the USA is still
by far the strongest nation in terms of scientific performance. Its relative
decline in percentage share of publications is largely due to the emergence
of China and other Asian nations. In terms of citations, the competitive
advantage of the American "domestic market" is diminished, while the
European Union (EU) is profiting more from the enlargement of the database
over time than the US. However, the USA is still outperforming all other
countries in terms of highly cited papers and citation/publication ratios,
and it is more successful than the EU in coordinating its research efforts
in strategic priority areas like nanotechnology. In this field, the People's
Republic of China (PRC) has become second largest in 2005 in both numbers of
papers published and citations behind the USA. 


Keywords: national, science, bibliometrics, indicators, nanotechnology


Loet Leydesdorff 
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam
Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-20- 525 3681 
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