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When open science meets closed borders

The nature of basic science makes it harder for sanctions to work

The most effective way for commercial innovators to profit from their inventions is to keep them secret but secrecy is not always feasible. PHOTO: PEXELS
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A: China has been fast ascending the world league table of science. According to the latest Nature Index, which is based on total publications in 82 top science journals, including Cell, Nature, and Science, China ranks second globally, after the US.

The index also shows that China has been narrowing the gap with the US: With total research output measured by a fractional count of total publications, which gives each co-author an equal share of the article she contributes to, Chinese scientists produced 37 per cent as much as their American counterparts did in 2015; that ratio went up to 67 per cent last year.

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