Nature journal ranks UT the 15th most productive scientific research institution

Aimée Santillán

The University has been ranked among the world’s most productive scientific research institutions by the journal Nature.

According to John Bird, director of media outreach in the Office of the President, the journal used a new system called the Nature Index to determine the ranking.    

“The Nature Index published a ranking table that shows which institutions’ authors published the most in the top-68 journals,” Bird said. “UT made the ranking because its authors publish very successfully in these journals.”    

Bird said UT ranked 15th out of U.S. universities and seventh out of public universities. To create the ranking, he said the journal surveyed an outside panel of experts and compared their thoughts with a global survey of scientists to determine the top-68 natural science journals based on where prominent scientists aim to have their work published.

According to Bird, the specific form of productivity the Nature Index measures is by commercial applications, patents, business ideas and medical applications, as well as developments in science and published research.

“UT is one of the country’s elite academic research institutions, and we are especially strong in the natural sciences, including geoscience, physics, math, chemistry and the life sciences,” Bird said. “The University has been a powerhouse in these areas for years, but, as part of our push for excellence over the past decade, we’ve gotten even stronger.”    

Bird said this new ranking validates the overall strength of the University in the core areas of research that are changing graduate-level education in the
natural sciences. 

President William Powers Jr. said in a statement that the ranking reaffirms the world-renowned productivity of UT’s scientific researchers. 

“Across the physical and life sciences, UT faculty and scientists are in truly elite company, publishing highly relevant, highly cited research that is changing the world and shaping the careers of thousands of students,” Powers said. 

Bird said UT should be proud of the ranking. 

“UT has the publication bona fides to back up our reputation. In fact, we see from this survey that, in scientific research, our productivity performance is truly outstanding,” Bird said. “This is something all UT students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends can justifiably take great pride on.”