U.S. publication output is declining. The U.S. global share of research publications fell from 27 percent in 2003 to 18 percent in 2016. Meanwhile, China’s share surged from 7 percent to 19 percent, overtaking the U.S. as of 2016. In absolute terms, China is now the single largest contributor of research publications (see GRAPH 2.6). India is also emerging as a producer of research publications.
U.S. research quality is stagnating. The U.S. continues to publish some of the most cited research but is losing ground on the international stage (see GRAPH 2.7). Countries that have recently surpassed the U.S. in the top 1 percent of cited publications include the U.K., Australia, and Canada, all of which have implemented national research ‘excellence’ programs.