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Scottish researchers in chemical sciences are efficiently converting funding into high quality, world class, peer reviewed research and patents.

A study by Elsevier, the world’s leading provider of health and science information, was commissioned by Scottish Enterprise to review the performance of the Scottish research base in chemical and life sciences, compared to the rest of the world.

It investigates the collaboration between the technology, innovation, chemical and life sciences sectors.

The report reveals that Scottish researchers are efficiently converting funding into high quality world class, peer reviewed research and patents.

Key findings

  • Elsevier’s analysis reveals that Scottish chemical science researchers are highly prolific publishers and highly influential in their field
  • The publication output of Scotland’s research base in chemical sciences has accelerated - Scotland produced nearly 2000 publications relating to chemical sciences in 2011 and in the period 2000-2005 publication rates grew 4.1% annually, increasing to 5.9% in 2006-2011
  • Researcher for researcher, Scotland produced more publications and citations respectively, than the rest of the world, in 2000, 2005 and 2010. Consistently occupying a top 3 spot in the rankings*, Scotland substantially outperformed Germany, France and the UK
  • Analysis of Gross Expenditure on R&D revealed that on a pound for pound investment basis, Scotland produced more publications and citations than any comparator country in 2000, 2005 and 2010. The figures revealed Scotland ranked 2nd for publications and 3rd for citations respectively.
  • Scotland shows high and increasing levels of international collaboration in chemical sciences, from 40.5% in 2000-2005 to 49.9% for 2006-2011. These internationally co-authored publications were cited 1.47 times as often as Scottish single author papers in the field, clearly indicating how international collaboration enhances research capability and relevance. 
  • 9.4% of Scotland’s papers published in 2006-2010 were ‘star publications’ featuring in the top 5% of most influential [cited] papers published - out performing the UK, Sweden and the USA

*Rankings based on 11 comparator countries analysed in 2000, 2005 & 2010: CHE, SCO, IRL, BEL, NLD, SWE, CAN, DEU, GBR, DNK, FRA, FIN

Download the full report