Level of Finnish science has risen

A recent report commissioned by the Academy of Finland, the State of Scientific Research in Finland, found that the level of Finnish science rose during the 2010s.

In the report, publishing activity, scientific impact and co-publications are examined using bibliometric indicators. The level of Finnish science was described using a top 10 index, which is based on the percentage of Finnish scientific publications ranked in the top 10 per cent of a given field in relation to the number of citations made worldwide.

The index for the decade under review has risen. The figure for publications between 2012 and 2015 is 1.12, while the world average is 1. Many key reference countries are, however, still clearly ahead of Finland.

– The index values are going in the right direction. However, it's important to bear in mind that while bibliometric indicators represent one view of analysing scientific impact, they alone cannot adequately provide an overall picture of the level of research. The shifts that occur are always the result of multiple long-term factors, stated Academy of Finland President Heikki Mannila in a press release.

The report states that research and competence clusters (ecosystems) and phenomenon-based research will play a more prominent role in science in the future. High-quality, high-impact and attractive research and competence clusters are considered crucial to Finland's development.

The report also recommends taking full advantage of the opportunities presented by digitalization and open science in the development of research and education.


Investments must be made in research and development

The European Union objective is that the percentage of investments in R&D relative to the GDP (i.e. R&D intensity) should exceed 3%. The goal of the Research and Innovation Council vision and road map for 2030 and the Ministry of Education and Culture vision for higher education and research in Finland 2030 are that Finland's R&D intensity will rise to as much as 4% by the year 2030.

In 2017, Finland's R&D intensity was 2.76%.

– The target set by the Research and Innovation Council and in the vision for higher education and research for an R&D intensity at 4 per cent will require significant action from both public and private actors, states Director General of VATT Institute for Economic Research Anni Huhtala in a press release.

CSC supports the development work done by higher education institutions and research institutes

CSC has engaged in bibliometrics cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture and Academy of Finland for a decade. As in previous years, the computing of figures on the scientific publishing of Finnish organisations, i.e. bibliometric analysis, comprised a significant portion of the State of Scientific Research in Finland report.

The bibliometric computing done by CSC is based on Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science data, for which the Ministry of Education and Culture has purchased a subscription to monitor and compare the volume and impact of Finnish publishing activity.

The analyses ordered by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Academy of Finland and CSC are also updated every year in the Vipunen – Education Statistics Finland, which offers a wide range of bibliometric indicators based on various data for anyone to use.

The Academy of Finland State of Scientific Research in Finland report produced materials that can be used to support the development work of higher education institutions and research institutes as well as enhance the knowledge base used by science policymakers.

This article is based on an Academy of Finland press release.