When it comes to the number of scientific publications produced each year in the field of space technology, the US comes in first place, followed by China.
A report published recently by the think tank OECD showed that while most countries produced roughly the same world-share of these papers in 2013 as they did in 2003, China has upped its game considerably.
Called “The Space Economy at a Glance 2014”, it revealed how the US produced more than 28 per cent of the papers in 2013, but that this was very similar to its 2003 share. China, meanwhile, produced 22.8 per cent – almost four times greater than its 2003 share.
The UK came in fifth place with 7.2 per cent – marginally behind Germany and France which had 8.2 per cent and 7.4 per cent, respectively.
The UK's 2013 share was slightly ahead of its 2003 share, but not by much. In fact, the only country in the top ten whose share went down over the past ten years was Japan, indicating that the top players in the field of space technology are becoming more established with time.
Which universities published the most?
Broken down by institution, by far the most papers were published by US institutions, with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Cal Tech/NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories coming in first and second place.
In third place came the Chinese Academy of Sciences, reflecting China's increasing presence in the field in general.
There were few European institutions in the top forty, and none in the UK. Those included were Germany's Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-Und Raumfahrt and the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands.
Below is a list of the top forty institutions in terms of number of peer-reviewed scientific publications over three five-year periods: 1999-2001, 2003-2008 and 2009-2013.