June 19, 2019

IST Austria No. 3 among the world’s best research institutions

Nature Index ranks IST Austria in Klosterneuburg at the top of the world

The renowned scientific journal “Nature” yesterday published its “Nature Index 2019”, the results of the annual evaluation of publication data of 82 well-established world-class journals. For the first time, the size of the institutions in which the publishing researchers work is also taken into account. The adjusted statistics show a pleasing picture for Austria: the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) in Klosterneuburg shows up 3rd worldwide in the ranking. First place goes to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, USA, the second place to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Apart from IST Austria, only two other European institutions (EPFL in Lausanne and ETH Zurich) made it into the top 25 research institutes worldwide.

This “normalized” ranking allows the comparison of institutions of different sizes on the same basis, which also 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.”

Basic research at its best: IST Austria and BRIDGE network partners as world-leaders

“We are pleased that the sensational third place in the worldwide Nature Index recognizes the achievements of our researchers at IST Austria. This is a wonderful confirmation of the path we chose to write an Austrian success story,” says Tom Henzinger, President of IST Austria, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. While IST Austria in 2017 was already listed as one of the top ten “rising star” institutes in the world, in 2018 it made the leap into the realm of the world’s leading scientific institutions – whether young or time-honored. The second place in the overall ranking of all research institutes normalized to their size shows that IST Austria now successfully competes with the most famous institutions of the world’s research community.

In addition, the partner institutions of the recently established BRIDGE network also played themselves to the top. The Weizmann Institute in Israel (2nd place), which among others also served as a model for the establishment of IST Austria, as well as the Rockefeller University, USA (6th place) and the Okinawa Institute of Science, Japan (9th place) form a network of institutions with a special focus on basic research and graduate education. The fifth partner institution is the Crick Institute in the UK, which cannot appear in the ranking due to its ownership structure. Tom Henzinger says: “The fact that our BRIDGE partners are among the top 10 shows that the combination of basic research and graduate education is a particularly successful model for scientific excellence.”

About Nature Index

The Nature Index is published annually by the scientific journal Nature. The index is a measure 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. It 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 for the first time putting the scientific output in context with the institute size.



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