Chinese universities fastest growing in high-quality research, Nature Index records

Chinese universities fastest growing in high-quality research, Nature Index records

Chinese institutions are leading the world in rapid growth of high-quality research outputs, the newly published Nature Index 2018 Rising Stars supplement has found.

Nature Index tracks the research outputs of more than 8,000 global institutions and the supplement identifies the countries and institutions showing the most significant growth. Institutions are ranked by the increase in their contribution to 82 high-quality journals.

This year,. 51 of the top 100 most improved institutions across the globe come from China, with 28 of those showing growth above 50% since 2015. The US is second, with 20 institutions in the top 100 despite many starting from a high base. Four institutions feature from Germany, and only two are from the UK; just one UK institution, the University of Bristol, features in the top 50, at number 35.

Within the top 10 most improved institutions, nine are from China. The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences occupies the top spot, having seen its output of high-quality papers increase by more than any other institution, with Tsinghua University second, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University third.  The Indian Institutes of Technology is ranked seventh and is the only non-Chinese institution in the top 10.

Among the countries that have experienced the highest growth in contributions to the Nature Index, sitting alongside China are Austria, Norway (through contribution to Earth and Environmental Sciences), Brazil, Iran and the Czech Republic. "While China is making waves among the traditional scientific powers, the other five nations are disrupting lower-tiered research strongholds," said Nature Index.

David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index, said “While China continues to dominate in performance in the Nature Index, there are notable rising stars elsewhere throughout the world particularly among the 30 younger top risers profiled, which come from Iran, Spain, UK, Switzerland, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, Austria, Norway, the United States, Singapore, Finland, India and France as well as China.”