In all four subfields there has been a significant increase in the literature presence of the Asian countries included in these searches: Most notably, the number of papers from China increased substantially over the last 5 to 10 years, to levels at times approaching the number from Japan and several Western European countries.
The globalization of authorship in the world’s journals appears to be advancing rapidly, with a clear shift toward authors from countries that were not traditionally involved in these subfields.
With literature analyses, there is always a question about the quality of the papers being counted. Figure D.9 tries to ascertain the relative quality of the papers in materials science from 1981 to 2001 by counting the number of times a paper was cited. Like the preceding information, the figure shows that the U.S. lead in terms of citations has narrowed since 1980, with the Asia/Pacific region and Europe encroaching on traditional U.S. dominance.