Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science ranks tenth in the world, out of 750, for the quality of its research, according to a recent Dutch review project that examined the impact of publications from research institutions on the scientific community.
The institute, based in Rehovot, was the only non-US research body to make it to the top ten on the list, which was published by the Center for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, otherwise known by its Dutch acronym CWTS.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the top research institution, followed by Harvard University.
The CWTS Leiden Ranking is based on evaluations such as the number of scientific articles researchers at an institution publish, its size relative to other comparable bodies, and in particular the number of times the articles it produces are cited by other publications. The more citations a paper has, the greater its perceived impact on scientific research.
CWTS reviewed publications from 750 research institutions around the world for the period of 2010-2013 and found that Weizmann Institute researchers had published 2,414 articles that were cited 27,859 times. Some 460 of the articles were among the top 10 percent of articles published in the world in terms of impact.
The institute, which counts 2009 Chemistry Noble Prize laureate Ada Yonath among its staff, showed a marked improvement over its position a decade ago, when it was placed 19th.
Life sciences and medicine publications did particularly well, with 21.4% of articles making it into the top ten in terms of their impact. Overall, 57 articles were in the top 1% in terms of their impact, making them among the most influential articles in the world over the period covered by the report.
In general, 65% of Weizmann articles — 1,561 in all — were in the top half of all articles published worldwide for impact.
Other Israeli research institutions didn’t do nearly as well.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem came in at 175th place, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology ranked only 399th and the Ben Gurion University of the Negev ranked 540th place on the list.