Nature Index ranks four BRIDGE members among top 10 research institutes worldwide

“Normalized” ranking sees Weizmann Institute of Science, Rockefeller University, OIST and IST Austria in the lead

Yesterday the renowned “Nature” journal released its “Nature Index 2019”, a ranking based on the annual evaluation of publication data of 82 well-established world-class journals. For the first time, it also took into account the size of the institutions in which the researchers work. The adjusted statistics is a huge success for the recently established BRIDGE Network: four of the five founding members made it into the top 10 research institutes worldwide. Weizmann Institute of Science shows up 2nd place, followed by the The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) on 3rd place. The Rockefeller University and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) are ranked 6th and 9th place, respectively. The fifth partner institution in the BRIDGE Network, the Crick Institute, does not appear in the ranking due to its ownership structure.

The “normalized” ranking allows the comparison of institutions of different sizes on the same basis. This method makes smaller institutions visible in the ranking according to their publication output. David Swinbanks, founder of Nature Index, says: “The normalized ranking is especially interesting because it draws to light some smaller institutes that are proportionally outstripping research powerhouses and would otherwise remain buried much lower down in the standard rankings. 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 annual Nature Index is published by the scientific journal Nature. The index is a measuring instrument for the success of scientific institutions in the natural sciences. Publications in which researchers present their scientific results in the most prestigious and well-known journals count as the currency of success. The Nature Index is based on a list of 82 quality journals of different subject areas. He sums up the contributions of authors to articles in these journals and analyzes their affiliations. The aim is to identify those institutes and universities that have the greatest impact on the global research landscape. The “normalized” ranking, which was first prepared for the year 2018, calculates the proportion of these articles in the total output of the respective institution. Thereby it shows for the first time what share of the output has been judged of high quality, independent of an institution’s size.

The BRIDGE network is an informal platform of research institutions, each of them pursuing two missions: the performance of cutting-edge basic research and the training of PhD students. Its five founding members-the Rockefeller University (USA), the Francis Crick Institute (UK), the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (Japan) and the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) – are among the world’s most successful scientific institutions in the fields of the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. The network provides a basis for fruitful exchange of best practice between its members, combining expertise in the management and administration of research institutes and graduate universities to the benefit of science and society.