Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has quickly risen to become one of the most important players in scientific research in the Middle East, thanks to generous funding from the government and an ambitious plan to shift the country from an oil-based economy to a knowledge economy. Over the past decade, the kingdom has overhauled its research institutes, created top-tier universities and invested in one of the largest overseas education scholarships to meet its target.

Today, the country has managed to attract top expertise from around the world to its institutes, and Saudi researchers are heavily involved in research collaborations with their international peers. Over the past four years, the country has risen in the Nature Index ratings to have the second highest WFC in the Western Asia region.


The 5 most popular scientific papers of April 2020

29 May 2020

Bec Crew

A colossal sea beast and a swampy rainforest at the South Pole feature in some of the stand-out papers from April.

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3 December 2019

Gemma Conroy

The highest ranked institution is just 10 years old.

Top 10 fastest rising universities aged 50 and under

1 November 2019

Gemma Conroy

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10 key insights from the first research scorecards for G20 countries

19 July 2019

Bec Crew

Australia shines; the US, not so much.

Japan's global connectors boost scientific research collaboration

24 March 2019

Catherine Armitage, David McNeill & Smriti Mallapaty

Six scientists whose transformative work reaches across borders.


1 September 2020 - 31 August 2021

Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Saudi Arabia published between 1 September 2020 - 31 August 2021 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

Count Share
432 126.53

Outputs by subject (FC)

Subject Count Share
Chemistry 202 68.56
Life Sciences 100 13.55
Physical Sciences 162 50.38
Earth & Environmental Sciences 44 14.93

1 September 2020 - 31 August 2021

View the connected world of international research collaboration. Visualize collaborations by subject or region.

Collaborations between countries

Percentage of collaboration by Share

Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Top 10 collaborators by Share

  • Saudi Arabia
  1. 29.37
  2. China (97.43)
  3. 13.07
  4. Germany (34.19)
  5. France (21.81)
  6. 6.64
  7. Spain (12.38)
  8. Australia (12.36)
  9. Canada (12.12)
  10. Italy (11.79)

Collaboration is determined by the combined fractional count (Share) of Saudi Arabia and the collaborating country.

Top 10 institutions from Saudi Arabia

Institution Count Share
1. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) 252 101.41
2. King Abdulaziz University (KAU) 72 5.48
3. King Saud University (KSU) 39 4.16
4. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) 12 3.54
5. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) 10 2.60
6. King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) 11 2.35
7. Saudi Aramco 10 1.71
8. Saudi Arabia Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (MNG-HA) 14 1.46
9. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) 14 1.28
10. King Faisal University (KFU) 9 1.14

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