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Rockefeller leads an international ranking of research impact

An international ranking of research impact has placed Rockefeller in the top spot of a scale that weighs what percentage of an institution’s scientific publications are widely cited by other scientists. According to the CWTS Leiden Ranking of over 1200 universities from 69 countries, Rockefeller has the highest percentage of most frequently cited scientific publications as a proportion of the total number of its publications. The ranking highlights the fact that Rockefeller discoveries are seen as highly useful and relevant by other researchers.

The ranking was conducted by the Netherlands-based Center for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University. Rockefeller topped the Leiden ranking in the same categories in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020. In 2019, it was not included in the rankings because of a change in the eligibility criteria. Rockefeller has also topped similar lists in recent years, including U-Multirank.

In the 2021 Leiden ranking, 31.9 percent of Rockefeller publications were among the top 10 percent most widely cited of all scientific publications during the time period studied, 2016 to 2019. In second place, MIT, had 24.9 percent; and Princeton, Caltech, and Stanford rounded out the top five. Rockefeller also ranked first when measuring the proportion of publications in the top one percent. By this metric, 6.1 percent of Rockefeller publications were considered extremely high impact, with MIT, Stanford, Harvard, and Caltech in the top five as well.

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.


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