This contribution focuses on the application of bibliometric techniques to research activities in China, based on data extracted
from the Science Citation Index (SCI) and related Citation Indexes, produced by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). The main conclusion is that
bibliometric analyses based on the ISI databases in principle provide useful and valid indicators of the international position
of Chinese research activities, provided that these analyses deal properly with the relatively large number of national Chinese
journals covered by the ISI indexes. It is argued that it is important to distinguish between a national and an international
point of view. In order to assess the Chinese research activities from a national perspective, it is appropriate to use the
scientific literature databases with a good coverage of Chinese periodicals, such as the Chinese Science Citation Database (CSCD), produced at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Assessment of the position of Chinese research from an international
perspective should be based on the ISI databases, but it is suggested to exclude national Chinese journals from this analysis.
In addition it is proposed to compute an indicator of international publication activity, defined as the percentage of articles
in journals processed for the ISI indexes, with the national Chinese journals being removed, relative to the total number
of articles published either in national Chinese or in other journals, regardless of whether these journals are processed
for the ISI indexes or not. This indicator can only be calculated by properly combining CSCD and ISI indexes.