Nature Index 2019: A year of Arab science in numbers

Nature Index 2019: A year of Arab science in numbers

The 2019 Nature Index rankings of the world’s scientific organizations, based on articles published in a selection of high quality journals, reveals a growth in science publication within institutions in Arab states. The newly released data reveals strong regional performance from Saudi Arabian and Egyptian universities. One Saudi university, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), even breaks into a list of the world’s top 100 research facilities.

The Nature Index is a ranking of over 10,000 global research organizations on their contribution to research published in 82 high quality journals. These journals are chosen by independent panels of researchers in the different fields of natural sciences to be the leading journals in their fields.

To compare institutes, the Index uses article count (AC), a measure of the number of papers published with an affiliation to an institute, and fractional count (FC), which is a rough measure of an institute’s contribution to a certain paper.

This year’s ratings of the 16 Arab countries covered by the Index, based on research output throughout 2018, show strong performances from Saudi Arabia – with the country boasting the top three Arab institutions, and five of the top ten.

KAUST ranked highest, scoring an FC of 103.76. In far second and third place comes King Abdulaziz University and King Saud University, with 9.93 and 6.43, respectively. The result from KAUST places the university at 4th in the Middle East, surpassed by Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science (FC 169.56), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (FC 107.23), and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (FC 105.01).

Institutions from Qatar, Lebanon, the UAE, and Oman also make the Arab world top ten, with North African academia narrowly missing the cut. Nevertheless, 55 of the 80 ranked entities from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia saw positive increases on their scores from last year. This figure includes 29 organizations which had no score in the 2018 tables, potentially indicating a positive move towards high quality research in countries that may be facing academic challenges.

Egypt dominates in North Africa, with seven of their research institutes placing in this region’s top ten, led by Ain Shams University (FC 2.16), which also placed 8th in all of Africa under the physical sciences category, and 8th in chemistry – narrowly beaten by the Tunisian University of Monastir, which came in 7th…..Read more>>




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