Technological research in the EU is less efficient than the world average. EU research policy risks Europeans' future



Downloads per month over past year

Rodríguez Navarro, Alonso and Brito López, Ricardo (2018) Technological research in the EU is less efficient than the world average. EU research policy risks Europeans' future. Journal of informetrics, 12 (3). pp. 718-731. ISSN 1751-1577

[thumbnail of Brito52preprint.pdf]

Official URL:


We have studied the efficiency of research in the EU by a percentile-based citation approach that analyzes the distribution of country papers among the world papers. Going up in the citation scale, the frequency of papers from efficient countries increases while the frequency from inefficient countries decreases. In the percentile-based approach, this trend, which is uniform at any citation level, is measured by the e(p) index that equals the P-top 1%/P-top 10% ratio. By using the ep index we demonstrate that EU research on fast-evolving technological topics is less efficient than the world average and that the EU is far from being able to compete with the most advanced countries. The ep index also shows that the USA is well ahead of the EU in both fast- and slow-evolving technologies, which suggests that the advantage of the USA over the EU in innovation is due to low research efficiency in the EU. In accord with some previous studies, our results show that the European Commission's ongoing claims about the excellence of EU research are based on a wrong diagnosis. The EU must focus its research policy on the improvement of its inefficient research. Otherwise, the future of Europeans is at risk. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. We thank an anonymous reviewer for suggesting the term breakthrough potential, which we have adopted. This work was supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, grant numbers FIS2014-52486-R and FIS2017-83709-R.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Size-independent indicators; Percentile rank classes; Scientific excellence; Triple-helix; Cited papers; Industrial-innovation; Academic research; United-states; Productivity; Science
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Thermodynamics
ID Code:51577
Deposited On:03 Apr 2019 10:34
Last Modified:03 Apr 2019 11:08

Origin of downloads

Repository Staff Only: item control page