Departmental Bulletin Paper Decrease in the Number of Journal Articles in Physics in Japan -Correlation between the Number of Articles and Doctoral Students

Iijima, Hideki  ,  Yamaguchi, Eiichi

2015pp.1 - 20 , 2015-11-16 , 京都大学未来創成学国際研究ユニット
Japan is currently one of the countries with a scarce repository of scientific articles written in English. The purpose of this study is (1) to describe in detail the situation that led to the decline in the number of the articles authored by the Japanese scientists in their individual research fields, (2) to identify its causes and the mechanism in the research fields that suffered significant decrease in the number of the articles, and (3) to devise a policy to encourage creative development. The number of articles by the Japanese scientists began to decrease dramatically around 2003, especially in the research fields such as physics, materials science, biochemistry, and molecular biology; all of them are basic fields for the science-based industries. The number of the articles decreased remarkably for physics that led the authors to examine the correlation between the numbers of students who had registered in the doctoral courses and the number of published articles. The decline of Japanese science-based industries from 1993, which was caused by decline of research and development (R&D), resulted in further decrease in the number of articles submitted by the company's scientists which in turn led to a decrease in the number of students in doctoral courses. Consequently, the number of young academia scientists began to decrease since early 2000s. An entire process of chain reactions starting from the decline of R&D functions of Japanese companies to the decrease in universities' articles was identified. This reaction was proposed as a phenomenon responsible for the decrease in the number of articles in physics. In order to achieve continuous and steady development of science and technology in Japan, it is important to focus on the cyclical cooperative relationship between universities and companies in a more interactive and reciprocal manner, with more attention towards education and training for the young able PhD holders together with motivating consciousness changes of both PhD holders and companies' managers. Also companies should become more aware of their role as promoters for expanding the diversity of career options for the PhD holders.

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