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Nature Index shows greater emergence of Asian research institutes and steady decline in Western research predominance

India sees highest percentage growth in research output amongst the top 40, outstripping China in the 2024 Research Leaders tables

London |Berlin |New Delhi | New York, 18 June 2024

The Nature Index Research Leaders 2024 released today (previously the Nature Index Annual Tables) shows the rapid progress India has made in research output, with the country seeing a higher percentage growth in contributions to Index journals than China. The Nature Index is an open database of author affiliations and institutional relationships. It tracks contributions to research articles published in 145 natural science and health science publications chosen by an independent group of researchers.

Since the Nature Index was introduced in 2014, China has been the standout country for growth in Share, a metric that measures the contribution to papers in the Index by authors based in a particular location. In 2022, China overtook the United States as the leading country for natural-sciences output. In 2023, a year after health science publications were added to the Index, China was top overall. 

While India’s overall Share for 2023 was 1,494.27 — much lower than China’s, at 23,171.84 — its growth is now mirroring its neighbour. From 2022 to 2023, India recorded an increase of 14.5% in its adjusted Share, a percentage change metric that takes account of annual fluctuations in the number of Nature Index articles each year. China, by comparison, had a growth in adjusted Share of 13.6%. 

Speaking on this year’s release,  Simon Baker, Chief Editor, Nature Index, said: 

“Year on year, we see similar patterns across the Index such as China’s rapid growth. This year, however, there have been some noticeable changes as diversification in research funding, policy mandates and an increase in institutions boosts performance in some locations. Whilst many of the trends around China remain, of note this year is the significant growth India has seen in its contribution to Index journals.

“It must be noted that the Nature Index is a zero-sum game: rises from particular countries or institutions inevitably lead to falls from others.”

Additional trends across Research Leaders this year show: 

  • The Japanese research landscape appears to be experiencing positive change. Whilst the country still saw a drop in adjusted Share of 1.7% from 2022 to 2023, this was moderate compared to many European and North American countries and the steep decline in Share of around 20% that Japan recorded between 2017 and 2022;
  • Despite featuring in the top ten for global/adjusted Share, many leading Western countries continue to record dips in adjusted Share: the United Kingdom fell by 8.2%, the United States by 7.1% and Germany by 6.8%. Denmark was the notable exception seeing an 11.8% increase;
  • Whilst much of Europe saw its overall Share in the Index decrease in 2023, in specific areas the UK’s adjusted Share was much more severe (biological sciences, environmental sciences and Chemistry).

And on an institutional level within the academic tables:

  • Chinese institutions now hold seven of the top ten positions in the overall ranking, as well as making up the majority of the top 10  institutions in the categories of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences, Chemistry and Natural Sciences.
  • US institutions still have a strong presence across the Nature & Science and Biological Science categories.
  • From Europe, the most notable performer in the overall top 100 was the University of Copenhagen at 52nd. It increased its adjusted Share by 11.4% as most other European institutions fell. For articles in Nature and Science, the University of Oxford was 7th after rising 18.7% and in health sciences, Sweden’s Karolinska Institute rose 5.9% and placed 10th

You can read more about this year’s Research Leaders in an overview article here on, and all data and analysis for the tables can be found here

[1] The 2024 tables are based on  75707 published in 2023 articles across the 145 journals.


Note to Editors

Nature Index is part of the Nature Research Intelligence portfolio, helping you navigate the world of high-quality scientific research, make informed research decisions and collaborate with confidence.

To claim a customised badge with your institution's performance in Nature Index Research Leaders 2024 please complete the form here.  We encourage you to display your badge on your website and on social media to promote your performance.

While the Nature Index Research Leader tables are a good indicator of high research output in the natural and health sciences, readers should consider the findings alongside other scientific outputs such as data, software and intellectual property when considering research quality and institutional performance.

It should be borne in mind that the Index is a zero-sum game with a finite number of around  75,000 articles published per year in the Index journals. With China and its institutions rising so much, other countries and institutions have to fall in the competition to publish in the 145 journals of the Index.

About the Nature Index Metrics

Nature Index’s signature metric, Share, is a fractional count for an article allocated to an institution, city or country/region, that takes into account the proportion of authors on the article whose institutional affiliation is with that institution or location. Adjusted Share takes account of a small annual variation in the total number of articles in the Nature Index. 

The other main Nature Index metric is Count. A country/region or an institution is given a Count of 1 for each article that has at least one author from that country/region or institution. 

For further explanation, please see

Note: The Nature Index is one indicator of institutional research performance. Nature Index recognises that many other factors must be taken into account when considering research quality and institutional performance; Nature Index metrics alone should not be used to assess institutions or individuals. Nature Index data and methods are transparent and available under a creative commons licence at

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