Thomson Reuters Announces Ranking Of Top Japanese Research Institutions For All Fields, 2001 - 2011
The University of Tokyo Retains No. 1 Ranking Among National Institutes, But Moves Down to No. 16; Government-funded Institutions Continue to Perform Well
TOKYO ― Thomson Reuters today announced the annual Top 20 ranking of Japanese research institutions for all fields based on citation data of academic papers published from January 1, 2001 - December 31, 2011. This includes the Top 10 ranking for each of the five fields, (Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biochemistry, and Immunology) in which Japan’s contribution is particularly significant.
Here are the top 20 overall national research institutions based on the number of times their papers were cited as covered in Essential Science Indicators (ESI).
To view ranking tables please visit: thomsonreuters.com/content/science/pdf/ssr/Top_20_Japanese_Research_Insts.pdf
Highlights of Analysis
- There is an apparent growth in the number of papers and citations of Japanese research institutions, however there is a downward trend in the world ranking, a continuing trend from 2011 as the growth of the institutions in other countries exceeds the national institutions'.
- The University of Tokyo retains No. 1 ranking among national institutes, but moves down to No. 16 in world ranking from No. 13 last year and No. 11 in 2009.
- There were no major changes in the nationwide ranking. The government-funded institutions such as RIKEN, National Institute for Materials Science and Japan Science and Technology Agency continued to perform well and achieved higher positions at the ranking compared to last year.
- Japanese institutions still shows strong influence in three categories, Materials Science, Physics, and Chemistry. More than a half of top 10 Japanese institutions have raised or kept their positions in world rankings in two categories, Biology & Biochemistry and Immunology.
Among world research institution rankings, only the Japanese institutions were extracted and re-tabulated in order to identify the top 20 Japanese research institutions. Using the 22 categories defined in Essential Science Indicators TM (ESI); five categories (Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biochemistry, and Immunology) were identified where Japanese institutions were ranked within the top 5 and top 10 in the world. Pharmacology & Toxicology was disappeared from the identified categories this year.
Database Used for Analysis:
Essential Science Indicators
Essential Science Indicators (ESI) is a statistical database providing data on publication and citation trends that are used to measure research performance. ESI is based on 10 years of Thomson Reuters data and is a compilation of accumulated information on researchers and research institutions ranked within the top 1 percent worldwide based on the number of citations received. The resource data covered in Essential Science Indicators is updated every two months. ESI license is provided only for the organization including universities and institutions, not for the individuals.
For more information on the Essential Science Indicators visit:
thomsonreuters.com/products_services/science/science_products/a-z/essential_science_indicators/ or contact us.
11 years from January 1, 2001 － December 31, 2011
About This Ranking Analysis
This ranking is sorted by the total number of citation received by papers published by each institution (Number of Citations). It is also meaningful to sort the ranking data based on other criteria such as the number of papers published or the average number of citations (the number of citations per paper). None of the rankings are absolute, but they serve as a general indication as to which research institutions are producing outstanding research work that is attracting worldwide attention.
Organizational Strategy and Institutional Ranking
The ranking of research institutions is generated by processing affiliation information as described by authors. By unifying subsidiary and former organization names and reflecting this in the ranking, some research institutions can appear higher in the rankings as a whole. Research institutions are increasingly using this kind of objective data in their organizational strategy. Contributing factors for this increased utilization include the incorporation of national universities and decreased number of children in Japan. The analysis reflects any mergers of universities or research institutions through the end of December 2011; in cases where there were multiple ranked institutions under subsidiary organization or former organization names, they were standardized under the current name of parent organizations. Research institutions with an asterisk in the tables indicate that such standardization was applied.
How to Interpret the World Ranking
The Max Planck Institute in Germany and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are cases in point. As a result of unifying various research institutions under the umbrella of the Max Planck Society or the Chinese Academy of Science, they rank in the top 1% of many categories tabulated in Essential Science Indicators. However, this is the result of unifying all of the research institutions umbrellas affiliated. It is not accurate, therefore, to surmise or conclude that the research performance of universities such as Tohoku University (in Materials Science) and the University of Tokyo (in Physics), which were ranked No.1 in the world until 2004, have declined.
Web of Science®
Web of Science provides researchers, administrators, faculty, and students with quick, powerful access to the world's leading citation databases. Authoritative, multidisciplinary content covers over 12,000 of the highest impact journals worldwide, including Open Access journals and over 150,000 conference proceedings. You'll find current and retrospective coverage in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, with coverage to 1900.
For more information, please visit
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs approximately 60,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, go to thomsonreuters.com.
Intellectual Property Solutions