Research Barometer 2017: Danish researchers are among the world’s elite

14. February 2018

The director of the Danish National Research Foundation welcomes the news from this year’s research barometer, which shows that Danish researchers belong to the world’s elite.

In early February, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science published Research Barometer 2017, which annually takes the temperature of Danish research from an international perspective. The report shows that Danish researchers belong to the world’s elite and that Denmark ranked among the top five OECD countries for scientific impact of publications during the period 2012-2016.

For instance, Denmark is ranked third for the highest number of publications relative to its population, with 19,755 scientific publications per million inhabitants during that period, surpassed only by Iceland and Switzerland. In addition, Danish researchers also have an average of 11.4 citations per publication, which puts Denmark at number four among the OECD countries, drawing a picture of a high level of quality in Danish research.

“We are delighted about this year’s Research Barometer, as the report shows the importance of focusing on our national research and investing widely in the innovative research environments around the country. Danish research currently holds a strong position and may belong to the world’s elite far into the future, provided that it is prioritized by society,” said Søren-Peter Olesen, director of the Danish National Research Foundation.

In connection with the Research Barometer, a survey conducted by YouGov for the Ministry of Higher Education and Science shows that the Danish population wants Danish research to do well from an international perspective. Sixty-three percent of the respondents believe this is very important, while less than one percent finds it not important at all.

“It is an important point that the Danish population weighs the country’s research high and believes that we must strive to be among the best in the world. This indicates that the population strongly wants Denmark to be a knowledge society in the future, driven by excellent research at the highest level,” said Olesen.

You can read more about this year’s Research Barometer on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science (in English) and at Sciencereport.dk (in Danish).

Facts: Research Barometer 2017
(Source: Ministry of Higher Education and Science)

  • Researchers’ education is given a high priority in Denmark. In 2015, Denmark awarded 375 Ph.D.s (per 1 million people), leaving Denmark ranked fifth among all OECD countries that year.
  • Danish research productivity, measured by the number of scientific publications (per million people), is high. During the period 2012-2016, there were 19,755 scientific publications (per million people) in Denmark, which was the third highest among OECD countries during that period, surpassed only by Switzerland and Iceland.
  • Danish research generally has a high level of scientific impact (citations per publication). Denmark ranked among the top five OECD countries for scientific impact of publications during the period 2012-2016. Total Danish scientific impact for this period is on a par with that of Luxembourg and the Netherlands. When scientific impact is measured as the share of the 10 percent most cited publications, Denmark and Switzerland share the top ranking, with 19.8 percent of the countries’ publications among the 10 percent most cited, the highest of any OECD country.
  • Danish research is largely based on international co-publication. Almost 60 percent of all Danish scientific publications are international co-publications, which places Denmark among the top 10 of OECD countries. Denmark has the highest publication level of any OECD country with regard to co-publications between institutions of higher education and the business community.