China displaces US as top publisher of high-quality natural science studies

Two butterflies made of paper, one with an American flag on its wings the other with the Chinese flag, approach a paper flower.

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Contribution of researchers in China to Nature Index journals is ‘rapidly gaining ground’, and in 2021 they led in physical sciences and chemistry

China has supplanted the US as the world’s top contributor to natural science research published in the 82 high-quality research journals that the Nature Index tracks. As a fractional count of author affiliations in these publications, researchers from China had a share of more than 19,300 from January to December 2022, compared with about 17,600 for those from the US. China’s share of global research publications has increased significantly since the Nature Index was introduced in 2014, and became the top country in the physical sciences and chemistry in 2021.