Danish brain research heading for the premier league

According to a new report by Aarhus University, Danish brain research is making rapid strides compared with other countries; but there’s still much to be done if we’re to rank among the world leaders

Danish brain researchers are more adept than ever before at generating scientific results.

In terms of volume of scientific publications, Denmark is making swift progress and, for ten successive years, has enjoyed the highest growth rate among eight comparable countries.

Between 2013 and 2015 alone, Danish brain researchers published 6,800 scientific articles. Relative to number of inhabitants, Denmark is second only to Switzerland when it comes to volume of publications.

This result can be read in a new report by the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy at Aarhus University, commissioned by Lundbeckfonden. Lene Skole, Lundbeckfonden’s CEO, says:

“The report’s mapping of the international ranking of Danish brain research gives us a solid foundation for stimulating and developing Danish brain research. Denmark is doing extremely well, but there’s still room for improvement if we’re to rise to the ivory tower of the research elite.”

The report indicates that Denmark ranks well against countries such as Germany, Sweden and Canada, but there is still some way to go to catch up with the four countries at the top of the premier league – USA, Switzerland, the UK and the Netherlands.

In terms of scientific impact – where and how often publications are cited in other scientific articles – Denmark comes in fifth, hard on the heels of the four strongest nations.

Collaboration improves status

The report also shows that eight out of ten Danish publications are written in collaboration with other national institutions, and over half together with international research colleagues. This collaboration across research institutions in Denmark and abroad improves the chance of being cited.

“Progress is on the right track. The report indicates that – even though we’re a small country – we’re good at international collaboration and, consequently, creating unique outcomes for the benefit of patients. Brain disease is the least understood territory in the field of human biology, so there’s plenty to be getting on with,” says Lene Skole.

Lundbeckfonden gives over 250 million Danish kroner to Danish brain research every year; half of the 500 million kroner it grants to research annually. Brain health is the foundation’s special focus area and Lundbeckfonden has an ambitious goal to help Denmark become the world’s leading brain research nation.

The aim of this report is to provide a foundation for developing and launching new initiatives to stimulate Danish brain research.

The report – Mapping of Danish Neuroscience Research from 2004-2015 – was prepared by Professor Jesper W Schneider and Postdoctoral Researcher Jens Peter Andersen from the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy at Aarhus University.   The study is unique; using for the first time a new method to provide a more precise and balanced picture of the actual number of publications concerning international brain research.

See the report here


Press contact/further information:

Regitze Reeh, Head of Communications, Lundbeckfonden, tel. +45 30546608.


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