Liang LM "Evaluating China's research performance: how do SCI and Chinese indexes compare?" INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE REVIEWS 28 (1): 38-43 MAR 2003

Eugene Garfield garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Wed Jun 2 12:47:11 EDT 2004

Professor Liming Liang : liangliming1949 at


TITLE   : Evaluating China's research performance: how do SCI and
          Chinese indexes compare?
AUTHOR  : Liang LM

Document type: Article     Language: English     Cited References: 12
Times Cited: 0      Explanation

The aim of this paper is to compare the value of SCI (the Science Citation
Index) and two domestic Chinese databases of scientific papers and
citations, Chinese Scientific and Technical Papers and Citations (CSTPC)
and the Chinese Science Citation Database (CSCD), as measures of China's
research output and performance. The two main results of the study are (i)
that the number of papers indexed. in SCI is more sensitive as an indicator
of research activity than numbers of citations or papers indexed in CSCD or
CSTPC, and (ii) that the number of papers indexed in SCI is also a much
more volatile indicator than measures derived from the Chinese databases.
Related to these findings is the fact that there is now fierce competition
among different regions of China for the top research rankings as defined
by papers indexed in SCI.

KeyWords Plus:

Liang LM, Henan Normal Univ, Inst Sci Technol & Society, Xinxiang, Henan
453002, Peoples R China
Henan Normal Univ, Inst Sci Technol & Society, Xinxiang, Henan 453002,
Peoples R China


IDS Number:



 Cited Author            Cited Work                Volume      Page Year

 CHINESE BASIC SCI                                              4      2001
 *CHIN AC SCI DOC I    CHIN SCI IND STAT PA                            1998
 *I SCI TECHN INF C    ANN RES REP STAT AN                             1988
 JIN B                 INT J LIB INFORMATIO          51       225      2001
 JIN BH                SCIENTOMETRICS                45       325      1999
 LIANG L               J LIBR INF SCI                20        13      1994
 LIANG LM              RES EVALUAT                   10       105      2001
 MOED HF               SCIENTOMETRICS                53       281      2002
 PANG J                GUANGMING DAILY 0118                            2002
 WANG S                SCI TIMES       1113                            1995
 XU G                  CHINESE BASIC SCI                        4      2001
 ZHU L                 CHINA BASIC SCI                          6      1999

I asked Professor Liang to explain the difference between the two Chinese
databases...CSTPC and CSCD.

She informs me that the following paper, posted on the SIG-Metrics list in
2002 explains the difference...
Item # 000863 02/04/22 15:38 110   Liang LM, Wu YS, Li J "Selection of
databases, indicators and models for evaluating research performance of
Chinese universities"
In a nutshell, she explains...
1) The two databases have different size of source journal set. In China
there are about 5000 scientific and technological journals. Both CSTPC and
CSCD selected only a small part of the total. For example, 1286 journals
were selected as the source journals of CSTPC, 582 as those of CSCD in
1998. There were 2.2 times as many source journals for CSTPC than for CSCD.
That means CSTPC covered a wider scope of fields, while CSCD selects fewer
source journals but with better quality.

2) The two databases have different discipline structure of source
journals. In CSCD the share of the source journals involving basic research
fields, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, earth science, and
biology, is 34.5%, while the corresponding share in CSTPC is 17.8%. Thus
journals of applied science, --agriculture, medicine, engineering and
environmental science-- have a less important position in CSCD, accounting
for 57.2% of the total source journals, which is lower than the
corresponding share in CSTPC (75.2 %). The journals in engineering fields
make up 25.8% in CSCD, but 44.2 % in CSTPC.

Following is the relative table in that paper.

Table 3
Discipline Structures of Source Journals of CSTPC and CSCD in 1998

      Discipline     CSTPC     CSCD     Journals      Journals
                                        %    %

      Mathematics  27 2.1  26   4.5

      Physics          43 3.3  36   6.2

      Chemistry          25 1.9  29   5

      Earth Science         95 7.4  66  11.3

      Biology          40 3.1  43   7.5

      Agriculture  124 9.6  57   9.8

      Medicine          246    19.1        110  18.9

      Engineering  569    44.2        150  25.8

      Environmental              29  2.3  16   2.7

      Other                      88     6.8  49   8.4

      Total         1286 99.8  582        100.1

She also said ...
I had only compared SCI and two Chinese databases in one aspect. In fact we
may also make comparison in other aspects.  Further more, in other
countries there are also some domestic databases of S&T papers and
citations, I wonder how to compare SCI and those databases in evaluating
research performance.

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