20 Jun 2019

OIST a World Leader According to New Nature Index

The Nature Index Annual Tables showcase institutions with the highest outputs of top-quality research. And now, for the first time, this includes a normalized ranking — placing the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) as first in Japan and in the global top ten, along with three other BRIDGE Network institutions.

The new ranking considers the number of high-quality articles published as a proportion of an institute’s overall output in the natural sciences, as opposed to a simple raw number of articles. This reveals a very different set of leaders among academic institutions.

“The inclusion this year of a normalized ranking draws to light some smaller institutes that are proportionally outstripping research powerhouses,” says David Swinbanks, Founder of the Nature Index.

“The smallest institutions in the top ten have some common features: ambition, as disclosed by mission statements about striving to be the best in the world, interdisciplinarity, with the strong embrace of collaboration across fields, and in several cases, the backing of Nobel laureates.”

The top 100 Nature Index ranking draws on metrics known as the Article Count (AC) and Fractional Count (FC), which measure the number of articles and the contribution an institution makes to an article, respectively.

In contrast, the new normalized ranking is derived by considering the ratio of FC to the institution’s total article output in natural sciences as tracked by the Dimensions database of Digital Science. The normalization calculation allows institutions of different size to be compared on the same basis.

“Our placement in this year’s ranking demonstrates that with the appropriate conditions world class research can be performed in a very young university. We owe this to the strong support by the Japanese government and the guidance of leading scientists,” says OIST President Peter Gruss.

“It is a testament to the quality of the scientists hired by OIST, the hard work of the faculty and the wider OIST community, as well as our commitment to interdisciplinarity and collaboration. Now we must continue our focus on producing world-class scientists and world-class science.”

For the full Nature Index Annual Tables, please click here.

Further information including frequently asked questions is available at natureindex.com.

Image: © Springer Nature.

Correction: On 6 August 2019, OIST received news from Springer Nature that some research articles were missing from the calculation of the Nature Index. With the missing articles now included, OIST has now risen to #9 in the world (from the originally reported #10).

By Christopher Richardson


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