Rockefeller ranks first in scientific impact among list of global institutions

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The Rockefeller University has the highest percentage of frequently cited scientific publications of 750 top universities worldwide, according to the CWTS Leiden Ranking, which measures citation impact and scientific collaboration. The ranking, conducted by the Center for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University in The Netherlands, is based on publications indexed in a Thompson Reuters database between 2009 and 2012.

Although the ranking has been conducted annually since 2011, Rockefeller was not included in previous surveys. This year the number of institutions covered was expanded from 500 to 750, and smaller institutions, Rockefeller among them, were added.

Rockefeller is ranked above MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley and Stanford, which occupy the next four slots in the ranking. The top 50 universities with the highest percentage of frequently cited publications is strongly dominated by U.S. institutions, with a few international institutions — from the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Israel — also achieving top 50 ranks. The 750 institutions on the full list represent 49 countries.

The CWTS Leiden Ranking differs from other university rankings in its strict focus on citation impact and its advanced bibliometric methodology: publications that have been withdrawn, for instance because of scientific misconduct, are excluded and differences between scientific fields in citation and collaboration practices are accounted for.

The university published 1033 papers in the three year period, according to Leiden’s methodology. Of those, 29.1 percent were among the top ten percent most frequently cited.

“The Leiden ranking is evidence of something that our friends and colleagues already know — that the research Rockefeller scientists conduct has an impact that echoes internationally,” says Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the university’s president. “Despite our small size, our faculty are global leaders in their fields and their work underlies revolutionary advances in biology and medicine that are being made every day throughout the world.”

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