Nature Index: A new global indicator for high quality science shows growing strength of China

(4 November 2014) The growing contribution to science of Chinese institutions such as Chinese Academy of Sciences is one striking pattern revealed in the Nature Index, launched today. High quality science outputs of 20,000 institutions worldwide can now be easily analysed with the new Nature Index. A freely accessible website is available at natureindex.com and to celebrate this beta release, the Nature Index 2014 Global is published as a supplement to Nature today.

The Nature Index database tracks the author affiliations of nearly 60,000 high quality scientific articles published per year, disambiguating over 20,000 research institutions worldwide. The database is compiled by Nature Publishing Group in collaboration with Digital Science.

Articles included in the Nature Index are drawn from 68 natural science journals, identified by researchers as where they would choose to publish their best work. The journals were selected by two independent panels of active scientists, chaired by Professor John Morton (University College London) and Dr Yin-Biao Sun (Kings College, London). More than 2,800 responses to a large-scale survey were used to validate the selections. Nature Publishing Group estimate that these 68 journals account for about 30% of total citations to natural science journals.

A rolling 12-month snapshot of data from the Nature Index is openly available under a Creative Commons license at natureindex.com, so that users can analyse scientific research outputs themselves. On the index website, an institution’s output of articles can be viewed across the 12-month data window and by broad subject area. International and domestic collaborations are also shown for each institution. A fractional count indicates an institution’s contribution to an article, taking into account the percentage of authors from an institution (or country) and the number of affiliated institutions per article.

More details are in the press release.