Nordic countries have strong scientific impact

A new study of the scientific impact of nations places Denmark, Sweden and Finland among the leaders. Norway and Iceland are left behind.
The study is published in the July 15 number of Nature by David A. King, a researcher at the British Office of Science and Technology. King measures the scientific impact of a country by using "citation index", analysing the numbers of research papers and their citations.

Of all scientific articles published from 1993 to 2002, King chooses the one per cent of the articles mostly cited. A countrys scientific impact is determined by how many of these articles it‘s researchers are responsible for. He finds that 31 countries account for more than 98 per cent of the world‘s highly cited papers. In this premier leage of research are found all the obvious; the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Switzerland – and Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Norway and Iceland are found among the 162 countries that account for less than two per cent of the world‘s most important scientific work.

The article also reveals a strong correlation between a country‘s economic and scientific wealth. Expenses on research and development amountet to 1,6 per cent of the Norwegian GNP in 2001. In Sweden it made 4,3 per cent and in Finland 3,4. In the OECD countries the average in 2000 was 2,24 per cent.

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