Nature Index 2016: the 100 most-improved universities based on research quality

China dominates the Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars list

August 8, 2016
Publications
Source: iStock

China has come out top in a new ranking that identifies the universities that have shown the most significant growth in the number of high-quality research publications.

The country takes the top nine spots and two-fifths (40) of the top 100 places in the Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars ranking.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences tops the list having increased its number of publications in high-quality journals by 245 – or 22 per cent – between 2012 and 2015. Peking University, in second place, grew its publications by 88 during that period.

The UK is the only other nation to make the top 10, with the University of Oxford in 10th place. The country claims nine of the top 100 places, making it the third most-represented nation in the list.

The US is second by number of institutions (11), led by Stanford University in 12th place.

Universities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are also included.

The Nature Index is a database that tracks the amount of research that more than 8,000 universities have contributed to 68 high-quality journals. The Rising Stars list includes the top 100 most improved institutions, based on the change in the number of publications by weighted fractional count (WFC).  

Fractional counts for articles from specialist astronomy and astrophysics journals have been down weighted between 2012 and 2015.

Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars: top 100

The ranking below includes links to the profiles of institutions that also feature in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016.

Rank Institution Country  WFC 2015 Total number of articles 2015 Change in WFC 2012-2015 Change in WFC 2012-2015 (%)
1 Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) China 1357.82 3449 245.02 22.02
2 Peking University (PKU) China 300.39 1113 88.32 41.64
3 Nanjing University (NJU) China 253.62 666 84.48 49.95
4 University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) China 229.13 661 82.35 56.11
5 Nankai University (NKU) China 150.88 334 65.04 75.76
6 Zhejiang University (ZJU) China 183.62 386 61.27 50.08
7 Fudan University China 177.65 374 56.12 46.17
8 Tsinghua University (TH) China 231.33 785 52.74 29.53
9 Soochow University China 108.47 209 52.43 93.57
10 University of Oxford UK 398.38 1373 52.25 15.1
11 Institute for Basic Science (IBS) South Korea 50.31 189 49.27 4732.54
12 Stanford University US 530.83 1514 48.84 10.13
13 East China Normal University (ECNU) China 83.9 164 48.35 136.03
14 Hunan University (HNU) China 92.47 144 43.26 87.88
15 Sichuan University (SCU) China 83.22 186 38.35 85.45
16 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) India 162.59 302 35.75 28.19
17 Xiamen University (XMU) China 112.49 240 35.38 45.89
18 University of Manchester (UoM) UK 149.09 665 32.13 27.47
19 King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Saudi Arabia 72.19 176 31.67 78.19
20 Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore 207.83 423 30.23 17.02
21 Chongqing University (CQU) China 33.2 69 30.2 1006.69
22 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) Switzerland 215.28 689 28.5 15.26
23 Imperial College London (ICL) UK 199.52 838 28.49 16.66
24 Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) India 78.67 138 27.71 54.36
25 Southwest University (SWU) China 45.36 67 26.99 146.93
26 Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (IIT) Israel 95.59 291 26.84 39.05
27 Tianjin University (TJU) China 64.02 206 26.29 69.68
28 Wuhan University (WHU) China 100.27 185 25.99 35
29 Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) US 92.15 241 25.86 39.01
30 Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres Germany 413.71 1663 25.1 6.46
31 North Carolina State University (NCSU) US 76.29 223 24.58 47.53
32 Stockholm University Sweden 81.22 529 24.29 42.67
33 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) China 88.73 547 23.78 36.6
34 Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) China 103.71 242 23.57 29.42
35 Jilin University (JLU) China 87.47 187 22.68 35
36 Lanzhou University (LZU) China 89.4 178 21.99 32.62
37 McGill University Canada 162.07 576 21.83 15.56
38 East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) China 88.55 159 21.22 31.52
39 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) China 76.12 200 21.05 38.22
40 South China University of Technology (SCUT) China 52.12 112 20.72 65.96
41 University of Southampton (Soton) UK 90.47 409 20.66 29.59
42 Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU) China 50.78 121 20.51 67.75
43 Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) China 39.73 86 20.43 105.82
44 University College London (UCL) UK 214.83 972 20.27 10.42
45 Changzhou University (CZU) China 20.36 33 19.8 3566.4
46 Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) China 63.78 176 19.62 44.45
47 King's College London (KCL) UK 92.43 397 19.08 26.01
48 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland 323.06 948 19.04 6.26
49 Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) Italy 41.39 129 18.97 84.64
50 Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) South Korea 41.49 113 18.41 79.76
51 Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) US 101.06 303 18.41 22.27
52 University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia 79.09 256 18.33 30.17
53 Beijing Normal University (BNU) China 54.24 177 17.51 47.66
54 Central South University (CSU) China 23.57 75 17.11 265.24
55 Shaanxi Normal University (SNNU) China 20.52 34 17.02 485.19
56 Shandong Normal University (SDNU) China 25.33 33 16.5 186.98
57 The Rockefeller University US 89.83 256 16.23 22.06
58 The University of Queensland (UQ) Australia 98.09 348 15.93 19.39
59 University of Regensburg (UR) Germany 72.58 156 15.72 27.65
60 Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) India 46.53 228 15.68 50.84
61 Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT) China 32.03 53 15.4 92.63
62 South University of Science and Technology of China (SUSTC) China 15.8 36 15.18 2442.49
63 University of Sussex (US) UK 33.26 251 15.17 83.9
64 Zhengzhou University (ZZU) China 22.93 59 15.16 194.95
65 University of Zurich (UZH) Switzerland 108.92 510 15.08 16.07
66 Indian Institute of Science (IISc) India 85.45 137 14.57 20.56
67 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) Canada 46.54 150 14.28 44.25
68 University of Pennsylvania (Penn) US 257.16 646 14.22 5.85
69 Jagiellonian University (UJ) Poland 31 186 13.63 78.48
70 Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) India 119.8 170 13.58 12.79
71 University of Münster (WWU) Germany 101.27 229 13.49 15.36
72 Beihang University (BUAA) China 31.81 99 13.23 71.15
73 Lund University (LU) Sweden 85.83 338 13.08 17.98
74 University of Bath UK 40.15 98 13.01 47.96
75 National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) France 85.55 739 12.7 17.43
76 University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) Germany 89.64 290 12.69 16.49
77 University of Copenhagen (UCPH) Denmark 125.32 679 12.69 11.27
78 Tongji University China 33.27 110 12.48 60.02
79 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) US 51.1 141 12.46 32.25
80 University of Michigan (U-M) US 304.18 944 12.35 4.23
81 São Paulo State University (UNESP) Brazil 23.52 112 12.31 109.87
82 University of Basel (UB) Switzerland 92.77 258 12.26 15.23
83 University of Würzburg Germany 114.81 328 12.21 11.89
84 University of Girona (UdG) Spain 16.15 38 12.18 306.61
85 Heidelberg University (Uni Heidelberg) Germany 121.53 690 12.09 11.04
86 University of Leeds UK 68.52 236 11.93 21.08
87 Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) - Paris 6 France 103.02 1472 11.77 12.9
88 Southeast University (SEU) China 37.51 82 11.73 45.51
89 Leibniz Association Germany 159.77 750 11.62 7.85
90 University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) US 54.74 159 11.43 26.39
91 Saint Petersburg State University (SPbGU) Russia 25.36 122 11.39 81.53
92 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) US 95.63 1182 11.33 13.44
93 Umeå University (UMU) Sweden 30.84 83 11.2 57.03
94 Curtin University Australia 24.16 233 10.93 82.59
95 University of Turin (UNITO) Italy 33.99 322 10.76 46.33
96 University of Warsaw (UW) Poland 37.5 211 10.58 39.32
97 University of Stuttgart Germany 51.42 119 10.34 25.18
98 Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NUST) China 17.5 42 10.23 140.83
99 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) US 159.73 863 9.9 6.61
100 Nanjing Normal University (NNU) China 19.73 55 9.79 98.39

ellie.bothwell@tesglobal.com

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