UW News

October 11, 2012

UW research ranks fourth among world universities

News and Information

A ranking released by National Taiwan University places the University of Washington fourth among the world’s universities and first among American public universities in scientific research, as measured by its faculty’s productivity, research impact and research excellence.

The rankings used two prominent scientific databases to measure university research performance. The study chiefly measures performance in the sciences and social sciences.

UW also was ranked third in the world in geosciences, fifth in pharmacology/toxicology, fifth in life sciences, eighth in clinical medicine, and ninth in social sciences.

“This latest ranking of world universities is perhaps the most accurate measure of the quality of our faculty and the impact of their extraordinary scholarly and scientific work,” said UW president Michael K. Young. “Based on actual published papers in the scientific journals and their significance in their respective fields, it reflects the power of our faculty’s ideas, their prolific productivity and their scientific and scholarly prowess. It’s one ranking you really can’t argue with.”

Research productivity was determined by counting the number of articles published in scientific journals. Research impact was measured by the number of citations – the number of times a given research paper is referenced in other research studies. Research excellence included the number of highly-cited papers and the number of articles appearing in high-impact journals.

The first three universities in the rankings are Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Stanford. Behind the UW were UCLA, Michigan and Berkeley.

The UW was recently ranked 24th in the world in The Times Higher Education Rankings. The UW also was recently ranked 16th in the world in a study by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and 8th by Washington Monthly.