Thursday, 7. January 2021 - 0:00

OIST leads the world’s most prominent universities in latest Nature Index

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) commissioned Springer Nature, publisher of the international scientific journal, Nature, to compare the research output of OIST to 10 other prominent research institutions using normalized data. The analysis reveals that, out of these 11 institutions, OIST produces the highest percentage of high-quality research papers. The results were published in the December 9 issue of Nature as a sponsored article in Nature Index 2021 Young Universities.

For a small university like OIST, it can be challenging to fairly demonstrate the quality and impact of its research. Naturally, fewer papers are produced than at larger universities. Normalized data has been adjusted to take this disparity into account, giving an objective view of OIST's research quality.

The Nature Index is a database that tracks contributions to research articles published in 82 natural science journals deemed high-quality. To calculate the normalized data, it uses the number of articles in the natural sciences from Digital Science's Dimensions database. The normalized data takes into account the number of high-quality articles published as a proportion of an institute’s overall research output.

This analysis uses data from 2015 to 2020 (data was not available at the time for 2021). It compares OIST to the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Tsinghua University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and the University of Tokyo. The results indicate that OIST surpassed all 10 of these institutions in the year 2020.

From Nature Index. The 2020 normalized data shows OIST outperforms 10 of the world's most prominent universities. (OIST is shown in dark red).

OIST President Dr. Peter Gruss commented, “OIST celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2021, and I am thrilled to see such an impressive result, given how young our university is. The OIST research community is determined to continue producing research results on par with the world’s top universities, by attracting more highly motivated and creative researchers from around the globe. I would like to acknowledge the Japanese government and Okinawa Prefectural Government for their support in this endeavor.”

The Nature Index publishes an annual ranking of the world's research institutions. In 2019, OIST ranked 9th out of the world’s academic institutions when the date was normalized. This was the only year when normalized data was included.

Read the Nature Index sponsored article here.

The Japanese version of this article was published in the February 2022 issue of Nikkei Science.

By Tomomi Okubo


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