In the previous issue of Research Trends, we presented citation and article data on ten countries whose researchers produce a particularly high number of journal articles. In this issue, we have extended this analysis to eight additional countries including one of the oldest centers for journal literature, Germany. Ulrich’s Periodical Directory lists the Goettingische Gelehrte Anzeigen as the first German journal, founded in 1739.

On average, Germany’s publication output has been growing at a cumulative rate of 5% since 2002, as shown in figure 1. The abundance of quality German journals in areas such as Chemistry, Engineering, Life Sciences, Medicine and Physics was reason enough to analyze the recent patterns for publications in Germany.

Fig 1

Figure 1 – Number of articles published by German researchers 2002-2006.
Source: Scopus


An analysis was performed in Scopus to identify the top 1% and 5% of cited papers per subject area. Table 1 denotes the number of papers published in Germany for the period 2002-2006. These counts were then separated into 27 subject categories (as specified in, with table 1 showing the top ten most prolific fields. For each of these years and for each subject category, the number of papers that forms a part of the top 1% and 5% of highly cited papers was derived.

Fig 2

Table 1 – A snapshot of the ten subject categories in Germany with the highest number of publications from 2002-2006. Medicine was the most prolific.
Source: Scopus

The German language continues to be of major importance to many of these fields and to local research within German-speaking countries. Indeed, in 2006 Scopus identified almost 12,000 articles published in German, accounting for 11% of Germany’s total article output. It is interesting to note that this accounts for only 32% of the total article output in German, indicating German’s diversity as a research language throughout the world.

Prize winners

The influence of Germany on science was clear to see this year, with the announcement of two Nobel Prize-winning German researchers. Gerhard Ertl of the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin and Honorary Professor at Freie Universität Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces. Peter Grünberg shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance, which resulted in a breakthrough in gigabyte hard disk drives.

In addition, Olaf Hohmeyer, University of Flensberg, is Vice Chair of the Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This Group was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.

To see the analysis for the eight countries mentioned at the start of this article (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Poland, Turkey and Egypt), please download the spreadsheet

To visit the first issue of Research Trends and see the original ten-country analysis.

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