This report utilizes data from the Scopus database of global S&E publications, which is an abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. The report presents the distribution of research publications across multiple dimensions, including by country, scientific field, international and interregional collaboration, specialization, and impact measures. The first section examines publication output by different regions, countries, and economies, as well as publication output growth rates by income groupings. The second section shows publication output trends and concentrations by field of science for regions, countries, or economies. The third section focuses on collaboration between researchers in the United States and other regions, countries, and economies. The fourth section provides analysis of scientific impact as measured by citations in research publications. The final section combines the impact and specialization analyses.

While interpreting the data presented in this report, readers should keep in mind that counts of publications and citations mask unmeasured variables including the density of the knowledge in each article, data sets accompanying articles, and any country-specific incentives for academic publication. While publication-related data are an indicator of a nation’s or economy’s research output, it is not the only such measure. Other outputs from a nation’s scientific and technological production, including degree awards, research workforce, innovative activities, research and development (R&D), and commercial output, are discussed in other Science and Engineering Indicators 2020 reports. These outputs can also be viewed as inputs into building a nation’s science and technology capacity.