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.


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3 December 2019

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The highest ranked institution is just 10 years old.

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1 November 2019

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Making their mark.

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19 July 2019

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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.

Green shoots: The astonishing growth of 6 young universities

26 September 2018

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These institutions have made great strides over the past three years in their production of high-quality research.

India struggles to select 20 elite universities

3 July 2018

T.V. Padma

Two years since the Institutions of Eminence project was announced, none have been selected.

Rockefeller tops Leiden university ranking for eighth consecutive year

20 May 2018

Smriti Mallapaty

The small university stands out for its citation impact relative to its size.

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21 February 2018

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Tool that tallies engagement with new biomedical concepts seeks to reward novelty.

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8 December 2017

Mark Zastrow

Exploring complementary strengths is the key to success in industry–academia science partnerships.

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6 October 2016

Myles Gough

Does pouring money into research always translate into better outcomes?

The right formula: chemistry the key to leaders’ research performance

3 August 2016

Mark Zastrow, James Mitchell Crow

Chemistry research was a significant driver of the performance for several institutions.

Saudi Arabia: making the most of local expertise

13 July 2016

Nadia El-Awady

Collaborating close to home means solving mutual problems and forging regional networks.

Shared knowledge is key to a kingdom

6 June 2016

Nadia El-Awady

International collaboration is yielding major breakthroughs and an increase in quality output.

Making the most of financial might

18 May 2016

Pakinam Amer

In a troubled region, Saudi Arabia is capitalizing on its relative stability and resource wealth.

Saudi Arabian research in 6 charts

10 May 2016

Strong connections with global scientific heavy-hitters and meaningful regional and domestic collaborations have thrust Saudi Arabia into a leading position in the Arab world.

Saudi Arabia draws on new reserves

28 April 2016

Sedeer El-Showk

Saudi Arabia has a bold plan to diversify from its oil industry to create a knowledge economy.


1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021

Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Saudi Arabia published between 1 July 2020 - 30 June 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
446 132.33

Outputs by subject (FC)

Subject Count Share
Earth & Environmental Sciences 48 15.65
Chemistry 204 67.78
Physical Sciences 174 55.96
Life Sciences 101 15.07

1 July 2020 - 30 June 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. 31.07
  2. China (105.10)
  3. 13.36
  4. Germany (41.26)
  5. France (19.78)
  6. 7.40
  7. Australia (14.40)
  8. Canada (13.34)
  9. Spain (12.40)
  10. Japan (11.05)

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) 274 109.87
2. King Abdulaziz University (KAU) 66 5.29
3. King Saud University (KSU) 41 3.81
4. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) 12 2.61
5. King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) 10 2.19
6. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) 7 1.89
7. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) 16 1.32
8. Saudi Arabia Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (MNG-HA) 12 1.31
9. Saudi Aramco 8 1.18
10. King Faisal University (KFU) 8 1

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