2016 tables: Institutions - physical sciences

The 2016 tables are based on Nature Index data from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015.

Table criteria

# Institution Share 2015 Count 2015
1 University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa 6.73 33
2 University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits University), South Africa 5.69 99
3 National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP), South Africa 4.05 22
4 University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa 3.91 92
5 Stellenbosch University (SU), South Africa 2.16 7
6 University of Johannesburg (UJ), South Africa 1.69 76
7 Rhodes University (RU), South Africa 1.47 10
8 University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa 1.19 5
9 South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), South Africa 0.93 5
10 Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), South Africa 0.83 7
11 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa 0.54 2
12 SKA South Africa, South Africa 0.38 6
13 North-West University (NWU), South Africa 0.31 3
14 NRF iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator-Based Sciences (IThemba Labs), South Africa 0.14 14
15 African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), South Africa 0.13 2
16 Nelson Mandela University (NMU), South Africa 0.08 1
17 Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO), South Africa 0.07 2
18 University of the Free State (UFS), South Africa 0.01 2
19 National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), South Africa 0.00 1
19 Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), South Africa 0.00 1
19 South African National Blood Service (SANBS), South Africa 0.00 1


Each year, the Nature Index publishes tables based on counts of high-quality research outputs in the previous calendar year. Users please note:

  1. The data behind the tables are based on a relatively small proportion of total research papers, they cover the natural sciences only and outputs are non-normalized (that is, they don’t reflect the size of the country or institution, or its overall research output).
  2. The Nature Index is one indicator of institutional research performance. The metrics of Count and Share used to order Nature Index listings are based on an institution’s or country’s publication output in 82 natural-science journals, selected on reputation by an independent panel of leading scientists in their fields.
  3. Nature Index recognizes that many other factors must be taken into account when considering research quality and institutional performance; Nature Index metrics alone should not be used to assess institutions or individuals.
  4. Nature Index data and methods are transparent and available under a creative commons licence at natureindex.com.

The Nature Index database undergoes regular updating, corrections, adjustment of institutional hierarchies, and removal of retracted papers and thus the live website can differ from the frozen annual tables.