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Nature Index Annual Tables celebrate institutions and countries producing high-quality natural sciences research

The 2020 Nature Index Annual Tables show strong performances from institutions with considerable funding and reputation as well as rising stars

London | Berlin | Sydney, 29 April 2020

The institutions that feature most prominently in this year’s Nature Index Annual Tables*, released today, are large with considerable funding and reputation, as might be expected. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Harvard University and the Max Planck Society continue to occupy the top tiers. But there were some unexpected results, for example, the University of Science and Technology of China showed a more than 25% increase in adjusted Share** bringing it much further to the top of the tables than in previous years.

In addition to the standard tables, this year’s Nature Index Annual Tables also includes a list of Rising Stars, based on institutions’ growth in high-quality publication output from 2015 to 2019. In this table, the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences achieved an increase of adjusted Share of 242%. This demonstrates a significant jump in the amount of high-quality research being published by this institution over just four years. Further data analysis and infographics from the Nature Index, such as subject strengths broken down by country, are included in the accompanying supplement. 

David Swinbanks, Founder of the Nature Index, said: “The Nature Index Annual Tables show that large, well-funded, well established institutions continue to perform strongly in terms of high-quality research output in the natural sciences. But we can also see that smaller, younger institutions are very capable of moving quickly to perform extremely well alongside their older, more established peers. While the annual tables are a good indicator of high quality research output in the natural sciences, we encourage readers to use the findings alongside other scientific outputs such as data, software and intellectual property when considering research quality and institutional performance.”

*This year’s Nature Index Annual Tables are based on full year 2019 data. 
** When comparing data over time, Share values are adjusted to 2019 levels to account for the small annual variation in the total number of articles in the Nature Index journals.

Note: The Nature Index is one indicator of institutional research performance. The metrics of Count and Share used to order Nature Index listings are based on an institution’s or country’s publication output in 82 natural science journals, selected on reputation by an independent panel of leading scientists in their fields. The 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 license at natureindex.com.

About the Nature Index

The Nature Index is a database of author affiliations and institutional relationships. The index tracks contributions to research articles published in 82 high-quality natural-science journals, chosen by an independent group of researchers.

The Nature Index provides absolute and fractional counts of article publication at the institutional and national level and, as such, is an indicator of global high-quality research output and collaboration. Data in the Nature Index are updated regularly, with the most recent 12 months made available under a Creative Commons licence at natureindex.com. The database is compiled by Nature Research, part of Springer Nature.

Nature Index metrics

The Nature Index uses Count and Share to track research output. 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. This is the case regardless of the number of authors an article has, and it means that the same article can contribute to the Count of multiple countries/regions or institutions.

To glean a country’s, a region’s or an institution’s contribution to an article, and to ensure they are not counted more than once, the Nature Index uses Share, a fractional count that takes into account the share of authorship on each article. The total Share available per article is 1, which is shared among all authors under the assumption that each contributed equally. For instance, an article with 10 authors means that each author receives a Share of 0.1. For authors who are affiliated with more than one institution, the author’s Share is then split equally between each institution. The total Share for an institution is calculated by summing the Share for individual affiliated authors. The process is similar for countries/regions, although complicated by the fact that some institutions have overseas labs that will be counted towards host country/region totals

About Nature Research

Nature Research is a portfolio of high-quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences – including journals, databases and researcher services – dedicated to serving the scientific community.

Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading, international weekly journal of science. Nature Research also publishes a range of Nature-branded subscription journals, the leading open access multidisciplinary journal Nature Communications, other open access journals including Scientific Reports, and a range of Nature Partner Journals published in partnership with institutions and societies. Together, these journals publish some of the world's most significant scientific discoveries.

Online, nature.com provides over nine million unique visitors per month with Nature Research content, including news and comment from Nature, and the leading scientific jobs board, Nature Careers. Nature Research also offers a range of researcher services, including online and in-person training and expert language and editing services. For more information, please visit nature.com and follow @nresearchnews. Nature Research is part of Springer Nature.

About Springer Nature

For over 175 years Springer Nature has been advancing discovery by providing the best possible service to the whole research community. We help researchers uncover new ideas, make sure all the research we publish is significant, robust and stands up to objective scrutiny, that it reaches all relevant audiences in the best possible format, and can be discovered, accessed, used, re-used and shared. We support librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and provide quality publishing support to societies. 

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to trusted brands including Springer, Nature Research, BMC, Palgrave Macmillan and Scientific American. For more information, please visit springernature.com and @SpringerNature

Further Information

For access to the tables and supplement please see here after the embargo lifts. 
Journalists may request a PDF copy of the supplement. 

Contact

Elizabeth Hawkins | Springer Nature | Communications
tel +49 6221 487 8130 | elizabeth.hawkins@springernature.com

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