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UK Japanese science stalls over past decade, threatening position among world's elite - 27 Mar 2017

According to the Nature Index, Japan's scientific output has failed to keep pace with other leading nations over the past decade, risking its position among the world's elite if renewed government efforts fail to reverse a downward trend in its performance.

Japan's share of high-quality papers included in the Nature Index dropped by 6% between 2012 and 2016. Furthermore, while China's rapid growth has meant that other leading nations – including the US – have also experienced a relative decline, Japan's output has also fallen in absolute terms. Publications by its authors in high-quality natural science journals, as defined by the index, fell by 8.3% over the last five years.

These findings are featured in the Nature Index 2017 Japan supplement, which looks closely at Japan's recent research performance. It uses data from the Nature Index, which tracks the high-quality research of more than 8,000 global institutions.

Data from Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science (WOS) and Elsevier's Scopus database, also featured in the supplement, further illustrate a downward trend in performance. The WOS shows that in 11 of 14 fields, Japan published fewer articles in 2015 than 2005. In materials science and engineering, strong areas for Japan historically, its publications fell by more than 10%. The most acute decline was in computer science, where output fell by 37.7%. In three fields however, medicine, mathematics and astronomy, Japan did publish more papers than it did ten years ago. While the total number of articles in the Scopus database, which tracks peer-reviewed literature, increased by approximately 80% between 2005 and 2015, Japan's output grew by only 14% and its share of global output fell from about 7.4% to 4.7%.

This downturn has led to a challenging situation in Japan for early-career researchers, with full-time research positions becoming less common. While government R&D spending is among the world's highest, it has remained essentially flat since 2001, while other nations – such as Germany, China and South Korea – have significantly increased their spending. Over this period the Japanese government has reduced funding for universities to pay staff salaries. As a result, universities have scaled-back the number of permanent positions and shifted towards contracting researchers, according to the Japan Association of National Universities. The number of research associates under 40 and on contracts more than doubled between 2007 and 2013.

The top 10 of leading Japanese institutions for high-quality science is led by the University of Tokyo, a global heavyweight in its own right. Kyoto, Osaka and Tohoku Universities place second, third and fourth respectively. RIKEN, Japan's premier research institute, is fifth, followed by Tokyo Institute for Technology (sixth), Nagoya University (seventh), Kyushu University (eight) and Hokkaido University (ninth). The National Institute for Materials Science is tenth.

In June the Nature Index will release its global, annual tables for 2017 based on a revised list of natural science journals.

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China LabNetwork collaborates with Elsevier to simplify and accelerate purchasing decisions for chemical companies and researchers - 27 Mar 2017

LabNetwork, WuXi AppTec's global chemistry ecommerce platform company, has announced a new collaboration with STM publisher Elsevier.

LabNetwork's nearly four million commercially available discovery and research compounds will now be directly available to users of Reaxys, Elsevier's premier chemistry database. The enhanced functionality means chemical companies and researchers, while using Reaxys, will also have access to both LabNetwork product availability and price information as a standard feature. The implementation deepens WuXi's integration with chemists' research and discovery workflows and expands exposure to WuXi ecommerce through LabNetwork.

Through the integration chemical companies and researchers can now enjoy product quality assurance that is guaranteed by WuXi, greater transparency over supply chains, and lower costs for a range of vital compounds on Reaxys. Researchers will also reap the advantages of a wider selection as LabNetwork sources compounds from more than 2,000 suppliers across the globe. Finally, the integration means that researchers will be able to easily compare the cost of buying a compound versus making it internally, allowing them to save time, accelerate research and better allocate budget resources.

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US Plenaries at the American Chemical Society meeting to focus on energy, materials and partnerships - 27 Mar 2017

Scientists, in four plenary talks, will explore a variety of subjects related to the 'Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems & Processes' theme of the 253rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The meeting will take place April 2- 6, 2017, in San Francisco.

The presentations, which are among more than 14,000 scheduled to take place at the meeting, will be held on April 2, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. PDT, in the Gateway Ballroom 103/104 of the Moscone Center. The plenary talks, as well as all thematic programming, are organised by Dr. Kathryn Beers of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The talks will highlight the critical impacts that advances in materials, technology, systems and processes have had on energy, the environment and health, as well as the importance of collaboration between industry and academia.

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US JSTOR releases JSTOR Sustainability to advance environmental research - 27 Mar 2017

JSTOR, the not-for-profit digital library, has released JSTOR Sustainability, a new online resource that brings together journals, policy research and books on the topic of environmental sustainability and resilience along with a set of tools to enable easy exploration of topics and ideas whether they are being discussed by an economist, scientist, or an urban planner.

Among the most critical areas of study at academic institutions today is our changing environment and its impact on society. It is also one of the most challenging given its fundamentally transdisciplinary nature and the range of publications, data, and sources needed to conduct research in the field. Working with think tanks, publishers, universities and researchers, JSTOR aims to make it easier with the release of this new online resource.

Among the nearly 100 content partners in the initiative are the American Meteorological Society, the International Association for Energy Economics, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Centre for European Policy Studies. A wide range of topics, from agricultural economics to green energy, and from climatology to sustainable business practices, are covered.

The new resource also gives users tools like topic pages, which explain more than 1,500 key terms related to sustainability, as well as theme-based searching. These tools are built on a thesaurus JSTOR has created and is refining all the time. This data investment enables what amounts to crosswalks through the literature, finding related articles even when researchers in disparate disciplines may be using different language to describe them. The JSTOR text analyzer, a new tool recently launched in beta that will find related works based on any document uploaded to JSTOR by its users, also promises to produce results and map connections a typical search may not find.

JSTOR built and tested the new resource, including these features, with several partner institutions. The Yale School of Forestry was instrumental in helping to understand the interdisciplinary challenges researchers face. The University of Washington provided the seed for further developing the topic feature and interface. Others have come on board in different capacities since then, including the University of Oregon, Amherst College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The launch of JSTOR Sustainability coincides with a 20-year celebration of JSTOR's founding at the Association of College and Research Libraries this week.

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UK F1000 partners with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch an open research publishing platform - 27 Mar 2017

F1000, a provider of a suite of services to support researchers, institutions and funders, has announced a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch an open research publishing platform. Due to launch in the third quarter of 2017, Gates Open Research will be a new publishing option that will increase the speed and transparency of scholarly publishing by Gates-funded researchers.

Gates Open Research will use services developed by F1000 and follow the same publishing model that has been established for F1000Research over the past four years and adopted by Wellcome Open Research, to encourage faster and more transparent publication of research outputs.

Gates Open Research follows the UK-based funder Wellcome, the world's largest medical research charity, who launched a similar platform with F1000, Wellcome Open Research, in November 2016.

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UK ÜberResearch and Leidos partner to add global research funding landscape to OnPar - 27 Mar 2017

ÜberResearch, a data and analytics solutions and services company serving scientific funders and research organisations, has announced a partnership with global science and technology solutions and services provider, Leidos, to OnPAR.

OnPAR is the Online Partnership to Accelerate Research and was originally launched in March 2016 by the Leidos Life Sciences team, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

OnPAR offers a new funding paradigm with the goal of matching highly scored, unfunded grant applications with potential non-government funding organisations. ÜberResearch will contribute key capabilities from the Dimensions platform, providing pertinent global funding landscape data alongside its unique natural language processing (NLP) matching tool that routes relevant grant applications to funders.

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India Latest edition of Blogspeak now online - 27 Mar 2017

The latest edition of Blogspeak is now online. Featured are: Ismael Ràfols, Nicolas Robinson-García and Thed N. van Leeuwen (How to make altmetrics useful in societal impact assessments: shifting from citation to interaction approaches); David Smith (Living with an AI: A Glimpse Into The Future); Phil Davis (Wither Portable Peer Review); Jeremy Cubert (Publish or Perish? The Balance Between Public Disclosure and IP Protection in Scientific Research); and Joe Wikert (Here's how to turn book samples into a powerful B2C tool). Blogspeak includes blog posts relevant to the publishing industry, particularly STM publishing. Subscribers are invited to participate in the latest edition of Blogspeak Here.

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