Thomson Reuters Announces Ranking of Top Japanese Research institutions for All Fields, 2000 - 2010
The University of Tokyo Retains No. 1 Ranking Among National Institutes, But Moves Down to No. 13 in World Ranking; Government-funded Institutions Continue to Perform Well
Tokyo, Japan－April 13, 2011 ― 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, 2000 － December 31, 2010. This includes the Top 10 ranking for each of the four fields, (Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biochemistry) in which Japan’s contribution is particularly significant plus two categories ((Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology) where Japanese research institutes first appeared in 2010.
This year, the University of Tokyo maintained its No. 1 ranking overall nationwide. However, the university’s world ranking has moved from 11th place in the preceding year to 13th place this year. Overall there were no major changes in the nationwide ranking. However, there is an apparent downward trend in the world ranking of Japanese research institutes as a result of increasing number of papers published worldwide. Nonetheless, government-funded institutions, such as the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and RIKEN have improved their nationwide ranking. Japanese research institutions also demonstrated their strength of influence in the Materials Science, Physics and Chemistry categories where they have traditionally excelled in.
Database Used for Analysis: Essential Science IndicatorsSM
Essential Science IndicatorsSM (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. For more information on Essential Science IndicatorsSM , visit http://science.thomsonreuters.jp/products/esi/ or http://sciencewatch.com/about/met/.
Period analyzed: 11 years from January 1, 2000 － December 31, 2010
Among world research institution rankings, only the Japanese institutions were extracted and re-tabulated in order to identify the top 20 Japanese research institutions (Table 1). Using the 22 categories defined in Essential Science IndicatorsSM.(ESI); four categories (Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biochemistry) were identified where Japanese institutions were ranked within the top 5 and top 10 in the world plus two categories (Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology) where they were newly ranked since last year. The table shows the domestic ranking in Japan as well as the worldwide ranking.
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). Please refer below for the category ranking of national research institutions, ranking analysis and research methods.
Note: The asterisk denotes a collection of unifying subsidiaries and former institutions. The organizations in each table are amongst the world’s top 1% based on ESI.
To view ranking tables 1-7, please visit http://science.thomsonreuters.jp/media/Press/releases/ESI2011_ranking_EN.pdf
Highlights of Analysis
- Japanese research institutions retain their ranking in top five of six categories (Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Biology/Biochemistry, Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology), a continuing trend from 2010.
- There were no major changes in the nationwide ranking and an apparent growth in the number of papers and citations of each institution. However, there is a downward trend in the institutions’ world ranking.
- The growth trend continues in the number of citations received for papers by government- funded institutions.
Note to Editors:
Research papers that are cited amongst the world’s top 1%
Essential Science Indicators is used by research institutions around the world; it is a statistical analysis database for measuring research performance through publication and citation trends. The resource data covered in Essential Science Indicators is updated every two months. For example, at the top of each table, 655 institutions were extracted and collected as being in the world’s top 1% based on the number of citations received in Materials Science (table 2).
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.
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.
About This Ranking Analysis
The analysis reflects any mergers of universities or research institutions through the end of December 2010; 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. Each table shows the ranking 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.
For more information on hot papers and interviews of Japanese researchers, please visit
To view the original press release in Japanese, 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, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare 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 more than 55,000 people and operates in over 100 countries.
Thomson Reuters, Asia
+65 6870 3212