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Rockefeller tops international ranking of research impact

An international ranking of research impact has placed Rockefeller in the top spot of a scale that weighs how many of an institution’s scientific publications are widely cited by other scientists. According to the CWTS Leiden Ranking of over 1100 universities from 65 countries, Rockefeller has the highest percentage of frequently cited scientific publications as a proportion of the total number of its publications. The data suggests that Rockefeller discoveries are likely to be useful and relevant to other researchers.

The ranking was conducted by the Center for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University in the Netherlands. Rockefeller has placed highly in the Leiden ranking in 2016, 2017, and 2018 as well; it was not included in the 2019 rankings because of a change in the criteria used to determine which institutions were eligible. Rockefeller has also topped similar lists in recent years; last month results from another global survey of universities, U-Multirank, placed Rockefeller in a top spot based on a different measurement of citation rates.

The Leiden group found that 33.3 percent of Rockefeller publications were among the top 10 percent most widely cited of all scientific publications during the time period studied, 2015 to 2018. This is well ahead of the second-place institution, MIT, for which the figure is 24.5 percent. Princeton, Stanford, and Harvard rounded out the top five. Rockefeller was also ranked first when measuring the proportion of publications in the top one percent. In fact, 5.5 percent of Rockefeller publications were considered extremely high impact by this metric. The figure for the other institutions in the top-five group range from 4.3 to 3.3 percent.

The Leiden Ranking’s methodology accounts for differences between scientific fields in citation and collaboration practices. Institutional publication data was collected from the Web of Science database.