The European Union, China, and the United States in the Top-1% and Top-10%
Layers of Most-Frequently-Cited Publications: Competition and Collaborations

Loet Leydesdorff, Caroline S. Wagner, and Lutz Bornmann


The percentages of shares of world publications of the European Union and
its member states, China, and the United States have been represented
differently as a result of using different databases. An analytical variant
of the Web-of-Science (of Thomson Reuters) enables us to study the dynamics
in the world publication system in terms of the field-normalized top-1% and
top-10% most-frequently-cited publications. Comparing the EU28, USA, and
China at the global level shows a top-level dynamics that is different from
the analysis in terms of shares of publications: the United States remains
far more productive in the top-1% of all papers; China drops out of the
competition for elite status; and the EU28 increased its share among the
top-cited papers from 2000-2010. Some of the EU28 member states overtook the
U.S. during this decade; but a clear divide remains between EU15 (Western
Europe) and the Accession Countries. Network analysis shows that
internationally co-authored top-1% publications perform far above
expectation and also above top-10% ones. In 2005, China was embedded in this
top-layer of internationally co-authored publications. These publications
often involve more than a single European nation. 


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Loet Leydesdorff 

Professor Emeritus, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)

 <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask] ;
Honorary Professor,  <> SPRU, University of

Guest Professor  <> Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou;
Visiting Professor,  <> ISTIC,

Visiting Professor,  <> Birkbeck, University of London;