Off-campus leaders who stay on the ball

February 4, 2005

Social science is about being healthy, wealthy and wise - at least on the evidence of the table below showing the top institutions for social-science citations outside the university sector.

In a listing that emphasises the American bias of journal citations indices, it puts 13 US institutions in the top 16. Of the 16, six are in essence medical research organisations.

One, Kaiser Permanente, is a private health provider. Three others - including the top of the table National Institute on Ageing - are funded by US taxpayers. Also in this category is the UK's Medical Research Council.

Social sciences publications from these centres all benefit from medical research's high citation culture. But the same cannot be said for the economics-based organisations that make up most of the rest of the list.

They range from the UK's Centre for Economic Policy Research to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve and a clutch of US think-tanks such as the National Bureau of Economic Research.

And despite diversification in recent years, the Rand Corporation's appearance here suggests that the US military is as good a customer as ever for original thinking on human behaviour.

This remains the core of its business, although its social scientists also do research in fields as diverse as innovation, drug addiction and the future of the internet.

Full tables here:

World's top arts and humanities universities  
World's top social science universities  
World's top non-universities in social science  

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