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Russia Struggles To Maintain Research Output, According To Thomson Reuters Study


Evidence of Attrition in Historically Strong Fields of Research

Philadelphia, PA, London, UK - A study from Thomson Reuters released today shows Russia’s research output experienced a steady decline over the past 10 years and is now the second lowest among the so-called ‘BRIC’ group of nations.

The study, The New Geography of Science: Research and Collaboration in Russia, found that after reaching a peak in 1994 of just over 29,000 papers, output in Russia declined over the next decade to reach a low of 22,000 in 2006.

A review of literature over a recent five-year period shows Russia produced approximately 127,000 papers in all fields of science, accounting for 2.6 percent of the world’s papers published in journals indexed by Thomson Reuters. This is more than Brazil but less than India and far less than China. Looking around the world, Russia’s output was also less than Australia and Canada and only slightly more than the Netherlands.

“It is sure to come as a surprise to many analysts that Russia now has a formal publication output that is on a par with countries that have a much shorter history of strong research investment,” said Jonathan Adams, director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters. “While other countries have increased their research output, Russia has struggled to maintain its output and even slipped backwards in areas like physics and space science, historically its core strengths.”

Other key findings include:
• The USA replaces Germany as the No. 1 country for research collaboration with Russia.
• China and South Korea have rapidly increased their scientific partnership with Russia.
• Russia shows signs of growth in the neuroscience and behavior field.
• The Max Planck Society is the most frequent organization to collaborate with Russia.

The study is part of the Global Research Report series from Thomson Reuters that illustrates the changing landscape and dynamics of scientific research around the world and draws on data found in Web of Science, available on the Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge℠ platform — the world’s largest citation environment of the highest quality scholarly literature.

For more information, please visit

For members of the media wanting a copy of the full report, please contact Paul Sandell at

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