The Weizmann Institute of Science has been ranked 10th in the world for the quality of its research, the only institution outside the United States to make the top 10.
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology topped the ranking, with Harvard University in second place.
The ranking was conducted by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, known by its Dutch acronym CWTS. The study analyzed 750 research institutions worldwide for the years 2010-2013.
The CWTS Leiden Ranking is based solely on numerical data, not subjective responses to questionnaires. The indicators used include the number of scientific articles published by the institution’s scientists and the number of citations these publications generate; the latter is given particular emphasis, since it’s an indicator of the quality of the research. The figures are weighted according to the size of each institution.
According to the CWTS data, Weizmann Institute researchers published 2,414 scientific articles over the period studied, and these articles were cited no fewer than 27,859 times. Moreover, 460 of these articles – or 19 percent of the total Weizmann published during this period – were among the top 10 percent of all articles published worldwide in terms of their impact, as measured by how often they were cited.
The Rehovot institute scored particularly high in the fields of life sciences and medicine, with 21.4 percent of its articles making it into the top 10 percent in terms of impact.
Moreover, 57 Weizmann articles (or 2.4 percent of the total published during the period), made it into the top 1 percent in terms of impact, meaning they were among the most influential articles published worldwide in 2010-2013. And nearly 65 percent of Weizmann’s articles – 1,561 in total – were in the top half of all articles published worldwide in terms of impact.
The university noted in a press statement that its latest CWTS Leiden Ranking represents a significant improvement from where it was a decade ago. Back then, the statement said, Weizmann was “a merely respectable 19th in the Leiden Ranking,” lagging behind three other non-American institutions.