Israel ranks fourth in the world in scientific activity, according to data compiled by the Council of Higher Education.

The data, which dates to 2005, puts Israel behind Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark in terms of the number of scientific publications per million citizens.

The report was released this week at a conference at Bar-Ilan University. In 2005, Israeli scientists published 6,309 essays in foreign scientific journals. “Israelis have written about one percent of the scientific articles in the world,” says Professor Yehudit Bar-Ilan of Bar-Ilan University.

Following Israel were Finland, the Netherlands and Canada. The United States placed 12th.

Israel’s role in global scientific activity is almost 10 times larger than its percentage of the world’s population. But even more significant is the number of times articles by Israelis were cited by other scientists. For example, there were 16,000 citations from the 148 articles by Professor Avram Hershko of the Technion, Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry in 2004.

The council warned that new research centers around the world are threatening the status of Israeli universities and that the decrease in public funding for research will lead to a reduction in scientific activity in coming years.