News archive

Online mentoring fills a gap for young researchers

14 September 2021

Clare Watson

Study finds that virtual programmes offer a useful pathway for careers in science.

Universities define four conditions for the UK to become a science superpower

7 September 2021

Benjamin Plackett

If British science is to rival the United States and China, research spending must be matched by freedom of movement, equitable distribution and less red tape.

Pursuing outside career avenues is no impediment to doctoral goals

31 August 2021

Andy Tay

Professional development work can complement and improve academic outcomes, study finds. 

The challenge of leading interdisciplinary research projects

17 August 2021

Shipra Jain

Consensus is not always possible.

Scientists at odds on Utrecht University reforms to hiring and promotion criteria

9 August 2021

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Not everyone wants to let the journal impact factor go.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of April 2021 in the Nature Index journals

20 July 2021

Bec Crew

Vaccine efficacy against new COVID-19 strains and the possibility of learning during lucid dreaming feature in these widely discussed studies.

How science diplomacy can help navigate the post-pandemic world

8 July 2021

Andy Tay

Researchers can access training programmes and other resources in pursuit of a diplomacy role.

Machines learn to unearth new materials

5 July 2021

Neil Savage

Materials genome initiatives sift big data.

Ferroelectric materials prompt a rethink of matter

5 July 2021

Chris Woolston

Surprising qualities point to next-generation electronics.

Makers and shakers

5 July 2021

Catherine Armitage, Sandy Ong & Sian Powell

Three researchers making a material difference.

How nanotechnology can flick the immunity switch

5 July 2021

Bianca Nogrady

Nano immuno-engineering shows promise against autoimmune conditions, cancer and allergies.

Birds of paradise reveal a dark secret

5 July 2021

Katharine Sanderson

Super-black feathers at the interface of biology, photonics and materials science.

High-performing places in the materials world

5 July 2021

Tanner Maxwell et al.

Four heavyweights and a rising star, in highlights.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of March 2021 in the Nature Index journals

28 June 2021

Bec Crew

A self-decapitating sea slug and strategies for mitigating wildlife predation by house cats feature in these widely discussed studies.

Technical staff left out as PhDs drive academic hierarchy

15 June 2021

Lindsay Gray

Failure to acknowledge support roles weakens the team, and the science, researchers say. 

Researchers’ publication rates don’t decline as they age

7 June 2021

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Contrary to stereotypes, senior researchers’ productivity doesn’t necessarily decline.

China’s leading researchers set their sights on new frontiers

27 May 2021

Hepeng Jia , Sian Powell & Kevin Schoenmakers

China sets lofty goals as it vies for global dominance in the highly competitive fields of quantum science, space exploration and nanocatalysis.

Five science stars making their mark in China

27 May 2021

Gemma Conroy, Flynn Murphy & Sian Powell

With research spanning particle physics, solar power, conservation and the mechanisms of coronavirus transmission, these researchers are standouts in China’s vast talent hub.

Three leading women in science share the highlight of their careers

17 May 2021

Shipra Jain

How they forged a new path to success.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of February 2021 in the Nature Index journals

6 May 2021

Bec Crew

An unprecedented space hurricane and an urgent call-to-action in support of Black scientists feature in these widely-discussed studies.

What I learned writing a science paper for a 10-year-old

27 April 2021

Andy Tay

"It’s amazing how much you can learn from the children reviewers."

The 5 most popular scientific papers of January 2021 in the Nature Index journals

20 April 2021

Bec Crew

A new approach to MS treatment based on COVID-19 vaccine tech and a sobering look at the fate of sharks and rays feature in these widely-discussed studies

Parachute science falls to earth

13 April 2021

Clare Watson

Researchers say more needs to be done to correct past injustices. 

How altmetrics could help level the playing field for women in STEM

25 March 2021

Bjarne Bartlett et al.

Traditional measures of success favour male researchers. Altmetrics could offer an alternative to help democratize academic evaluation.

Southeast Asian countries join forces for scientific strength

18 March 2021

Sandy Ong

Partnerships are a path to growth in research output.

Politics and the pandemic disrupt migration patterns in research

18 March 2021

Catherine Armitage

Researchers are watching how political and economic tensions between China and Australia will affect scientific collaborations.

Rising tide of China’s science lifts Asia-Pacific research

18 March 2021

Catherine Armitage

Thanks to huge investments in science, China is the region’s scientific growth engine and collaboration magnet

Rethinking research assessment: 7 sources of bias to watch out for at your institution

16 March 2021

Gemma Conroy

Recognizing the signs of systemic bias is key to ensuring that hiring, promotion and tenure decisions are fair for everyone.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of December 2020 in the Nature Index journals

16 February 2021

Bec Crew

A major milestone in light-based quantum computing and the possibility of reversed ageing feature in these widely-discussed studies.

The 5 most talked-about scientific papers of November 2020 in the Nature Index journals

22 January 2021

Bec Crew

Stronger hurricanes and controversial research on autism feature in these widely discussed studies.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of September 2020 in the Nature Index journals

4 January 2021

Bec Crew

A Neanderthal-derived gene cluster linked to COVID-19 symptoms and a controversial AI algorithm feature in these stand-out studies.

Why universities must seize the chance to help "reset" society

16 December 2020

Mark Dodgson and David Gann

Higher education institutions are the cradle of innovation and entrepreneurship. Their expertise is needed more than ever.

Auto articles: an experiment in AI-generated content

10 December 2020

Catherine Armitage & Markus Kaindl

AI-generated summaries of three articles selected from a data set of 175 Springer Nature publications.

Sliced, diced and digested: AI-generated science ready in minutes

10 December 2020

Chris Woolston & Jeffrey M. Perkel

AI can decide which papers are worth reading, and condenses them to make the literature more accessible.

Four AI technologies that could transform the way we live and work

10 December 2020

Bill Condie & Leigh Dayton

From facial recognition to drug discovery, these emerging technologies are the ones to watch.

Six researchers who are shaping the future of artificial intelligence

10 December 2020

Gemma Conroy, Hepeng Jia, Benjamin Plackett & Andy Tay

From radio galaxies to robots, these trailblazers are at the forefront of AI advances.

Artificial-intelligence research escalates amid calls for caution

10 December 2020

Bec Crew

A look at one of the most rapidly advancing and controversial topics in scientific research.

Hope, fear and climate scientists

7 December 2020

Shipra Jain

Three generations of researchers look to the future.

German science on the world stage: visualized

30 November 2020

Nature Index

Infographics reveal the nation’s strengths.

Clusters of Excellence: the new ‘brains trusts’ of German science

27 November 2020

Gemma Conroy, Bec Crew & Andy Tay

Researchers praise the time and funding they are given for deep exploration.

Nobel Prizes have a diversity problem even worse than the scientific fields they honor

8 October 2020

Marc Zimmer

This is a problem much larger than simply bias on the part of the Nobel selection committees – it’s systemic.

From impact to inequality: How post-COVID-19 government policy is privatizing research innovation

6 October 2020

Daniel Hook

Government funding post-COVID-19 will see an increased emphasis on research impact. This could see blue skies research pushed into the private sector, says Daniel Hook

Science cities seek new connections

28 September 2020

György Csomós, Zsófia Viktória Vida & Balázs Lengyel

Emerging trends are explored in this commentary on high-impact research outputs across 245 cities.

Nature Index’s top five science cities, by the numbers

28 September 2020

Nature Index

Sizing up the success of the world’s science hotspots.

Beijing, the seat of science capital

25 September 2020

Hepeng Jia

China’s powerhouse holds firm as the number one city in the Nature Index.

The top cities for research in the Nature Index

25 September 2020

Catherine Armitage

A look at the inputs that result in high scientific research outputs.

New York and Boston maintain their lead

24 September 2020

Neil Savage

The two US cities have a peerless partnership for life sciences.

Predicting your future h-index

23 September 2020

Hepeng Jia

Study aims to forecast success.

Women have disrupted research on bird song, and show how diversity can improve all fields of science

16 September 2020

Kevin Omland, Evangeline Rose & Karan Odom

For decades, scientists believed that only male birds sang. Then women entered the field and showed what their predecessors had missed.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of March 2020 in the Nature Index journals

1 September 2020

Bec Crew

Vanishing coastlines and a threat to sea turtles feature in these stand-out studies from March.

This scientific ‘power couple’ has one of the largest publishing networks in chemistry

18 August 2020

Hepeng Jia

How a supervisor-student pair forged a lasting collaboration.

These five scientific fields win the most Nobel Prizes

4 August 2020

Gemma Conroy

Scientists in neglected research areas at risk of being considered "second-class citizens."

How young researchers can create lasting industry partnerships

24 July 2020

Bec Crew

Don’t wait for universities to facilitate connections. Here’s how to find the right people on your own timeline.

When it pays to say yes to a burdensome request

17 July 2020

Peter Goldstein

Despite misgivings, this biomedical researcher agreed to serve on a faculty committee. It was a good gamble.

Google Scholar reveals its most influential papers for 2020

13 July 2020

Bec Crew

Artificial intelligence papers amass citations more than any other research topic.

These two geochemists have one of the largest publishing networks in science

26 June 2020

Gemma Conroy

A ‘power couple’ in Earth and environmental sciences.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of May 2020 in the Nature Index journals

25 June 2020

Bec Crew

COVID-19 vaccine hopes, and the environmental effects of the pandemic.

What to do when your research comes under fire

3 June 2020

Andy Tay

3 pieces of advice from the frontlines of scientific debate.

South Korean institutions lure global talent

29 May 2020

Chris Woolston

The country is making headway in the effort to internationalize its scientific workforce.

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.

A new deal for South Korea’s science?

28 May 2020

Catherine Armitage

A review of South Korea's research flagship will point to how the country plans to become a ‘first mover’.

This scientific ‘power couple’ has one of the largest publishing networks in biology

27 May 2020

Gemma Conroy

Their protein-saving techniques are in high demand.

10 tips for submitting a successful preprint

26 May 2020

Jon Brock

How to stand out in the fast-growing throng.

The decline of women's research production during the coronavirus pandemic

19 May 2020

Philippe Vincent-Lamarre et al.

Preprints analysis suggests a disproportionate impact on early career researchers.

These materials scientists are a ‘power couple’ in the physical sciences

5 May 2020

Gemma Conroy

From rejected material to career-defining discovery.

Nature Index Annual Tables 2020: Measures of merit

30 April 2020

Bec Crew

With the release of the Nature Index 2020 Annual Tables, we celebrate the institutions and countries producing high-quality research in the natural sciences.

Chemistry researchers cite their own work the most

27 April 2020

Gemma Conroy

But we shouldn't assume selfish motives.

4 predictions for the future of higher education

26 March 2020

Bec Crew

Universities will have to adapt quickly to survive, says leading economist.

What's wrong with the h-index, according to its inventor

24 March 2020

Gemma Conroy

"Severe unintended negative consequences."

How to demonstrate the value of your research

20 March 2020

Carsten Lund Pedersen

A tool to help you master the four Cs: citations, communication, coverage, and collaboration.

Women rival men in scientific research publications and citations

17 March 2020

Jon Brock

But short careers set them back.

Nature Index’s top 5 countries: ranked in chemistry, environmental, physical, and life sciences

6 March 2020

Gemma Conroy

Where in the world are the subject strengths?

TOP Factor rates journals on transparency, openness

18 February 2020

Chris Woolston

New tool seeks to change editorial practices.

Five leading early career researchers in materials science

16 December 2019

Gemma Conroy, Bec Crew & Hepeng Jia

Star competitors in a highly competitive field.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of November 2019

3 December 2019

Bec Crew

Alzheimer’s resistance and a black hole conundrum.

Scooped in science? Relax, credit will come your way

2 December 2019

Ewen Callaway

A study of protein databases shows that discoverers who are second to publish still end up getting a substantial portion of the recognition.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of October 2019

8 November 2019

Bec Crew

How supreme is "supreme"?

Unmasking the hidden networks behind academic success

25 October 2019

Margath Walker

They work well for some.


Publication is not enough, to generate impact you need to campaign

3 October 2019

Toby Green

Regarding publication as only one part of a long-term and cumulative communication campaign is integral to achieving impact.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of September 2019

1 October 2019

Bec Crew

The top paper had a slick social media campaign.

"There is a problem": Australia's top scientist Alan Finkel pushes to eradicate bad science

19 September 2019

Alan Finkel

A new publishing standard should be introduced to weed out unscrupulous research journals.

Research returnees boost China’s scientific impact

18 September 2019

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

An unprecedented rise to world-class status.

Times Higher Education releases its World University Rankings 2020

12 September 2019

Bec Crew

The United States dominates, but cracks are showing.

Elsevier investigates hundreds of peer reviewers for manipulating citations

12 September 2019

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

The publisher is scrutinizing researchers who might be inappropriately using the review process to promote their own work.

Museum volunteering among new impact indicators for UK universities

11 September 2019

Elisabeth Jeffries

How to compare apples with apples.

The hidden cost of having a eureka moment, but not being able to put it in your own words

29 August 2019

Sneha Kulkarni

Publishing in an “international” journal now refers to an English-language journal.

5 features of a highly cited article

23 August 2019

Mohamed Elgendi

The difference between highly cited and lowly cited papers.

Government funding will be tied to uni performance from 2020

21 August 2019

Emmaline Bexley

How will performance-based funding shake out for Australian universities?

Out of date before it's published

30 July 2019

Jon Brock

Zika provides a vision for how to keep pace with a fast-moving research field.

10 key insights from the first research scorecards for G20 countries

19 July 2019

Bec Crew

Australia shines; the US, not so much.

Preprints boost article citations and mentions

9 July 2019

Gemma Conroy

The benefits of showing your hand early.

Four reasons to graphically illustrate your research

4 July 2019

Gemma Sou

Academic writing is often criticised for being overly complicated and impenetrable to anyone outside of a small circle of experts.

Gender is not the biggest barrier to career success

14 June 2019

Gemma Conroy

Study paints bleak picture of disadvantage attached to ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

In science, some ideas are more contagious than others

13 May 2019

Viviane Callier

An infectious disease model shows that ideas from prestigious institutions are more likely to spread farthest.

Impact factors are still widely used in academic evaluations

18 April 2019

Holly Else

Survey finds that 40% of research-intensive universities mention the controversial metric in review documents — despite efforts to dampen its influence.

Hidden lake on Mars raises questions

22 January 2019

Gemma Conroy

Radar data of the red planet’s south pole had scientists deliberating over the possibilities. Could it really be liquid water?

A tally of mass destruction

15 January 2019

Gemma Conroy

A massive study on the planet’s biomass was among the top five most talked-about articles of 2018.

Coral bleaching pushes alarm buttons

9 January 2019

Gemma Conroy

A study revealing the decline of the Great Barrier Reef was one of the most discussed articles of 2018.

An unpalatable message about the climate’s point of no return

3 January 2019

Gemma Conroy

A dire warning from climate scientists was the second most discussed paper in the past year.

Data brief: Female first-authors attract more readers

2 January 2019

Gemma Conroy

The work of female researchers has a broader impact than citation analysis suggests, but not in India.

False news travels fast

28 December 2018

Gemma Conroy

One of the year’s hottest papers shows online story-tellers are lukewarm when it comes to truth.

Egypt and Pakistan had highest rise in research output in 2018

27 December 2018

Anita Makri

Global production of scientific papers hit an all-time high this year, estimates show, with emerging economies rising fastest.

The right tools to empower researchers

11 October 2018

J. Britt Holbrook

Too many tools used to promote accountability benefit research managers and for-profit companies at the expense of individual researchers.

Q&A Koenraad Debackere: Impact assessment to become more complex

28 August 2018

Smriti Mallapaty

We need to define impact more clearly to be able to measure it effectively.

The A to Z of paper authorship

21 August 2018

Gemma Conroy

It's bad news for Z but A is AOK for authors listed alphabetically. 

European Commission to consult the people on science spending priorities

14 August 2018

Elisabeth Jeffries

Radical proposal will be difficult to implement, say NGOs.

Japan weighs the value of imported academics

2 August 2018

Futao Huang

Foreign faculty in Japan are less productive than their local counterparts on many measures, but better connected to global collaborations. 

Indian translation pipeline in patent need of overhaul

31 July 2018

Virat Markandeya

Report recommends removing obstacles to the conversion of scientific research into products and services. 

Early-career researchers herald change

25 July 2018

David Nicholas et al.*

The younger generation sees a collaborative system as key to discovery and advancement, a three-year tracking project reveals. 

Earth and environmental sciences must zoom in on the big picture

13 July 2018

Richard Kingsford

Academic reward structures discourage the pursuit of vital research.

Steps to a top-scoring impact case study

12 July 2018

Mark Reed et. al.

Describing the benefits of excellent research in simple language gets high marks in the REF.

Green stories greatest hits

7 July 2018

Gemma Conroy

We look at the top 5 Earth and environmental science articles by Altmetric Score from 2012 to 2017.

A better measure of research from the global south

6 July 2018

Jean Lebel & Robert McLean

Funders Jean Lebel and Robert McLean describe a new tool for judging the value and validity of science that attempts to improve lives.

Citation analysis reveals the game changers

29 May 2018

Gemma Conroy

A study identifies papers that stand the test of time.

Wikipedia’s top-cited scholarly articles — revealed

16 May 2018

Giorgia Guglielmi

Gene collections and astronomy studies dominate the list of the most-cited publications with DOIs on the popular online encyclopaedia.

Q&A Trish Greenhalgh: Linear impact narratives encourage easy science

19 April 2018

Smriti Mallapaty

The REF’s approach to impact incentivizes research that can be obviously linked to outcomes.

How researchers are ensuring that their work has an impact

5 April 2018

Jack Leeming

Finding purpose and meaning in the lab. 

Experts fear irrelevance for assessment of research relevance

28 March 2018

Smriti Mallapaty

Australian academics will need to prove that they have demonstrated the usefulness of their work to communities, industry and government.

World’s oldest fossils rock the web

25 January 2018

Gemma Conroy

A controversial fossil discovery has whipped up online discussions about alien life.

Artificial womb system raises ethical debate

15 January 2018

Gemma Conroy

A system for bringing premature baby lambs to gestational term caused much online debate about whether the technology should be applied to humans.

Dinosaur fossil ruffles feathers online

11 January 2018

Gemma Conroy

Flesh and feathers trapped in amber were the talk of the internet in 2017.

Girls will be girls? Gender stereotyping among six-year olds sparks debate

5 January 2018

Gemma Conroy

A study revealing that girls are more likely to link brilliance with boys than with their own gender made headlines on the web.

Pharma could cut its losses with a bit of sharing

2 January 2018

Phillip Phan & Dean Wong

COMMENT: Life science companies are missing out on the benefits of open innovation.

Designer babies, the year’s most talked about story from a Nature Index-tracked journal

29 December 2017

Gemma Conroy

A gene-editing breakthrough topped all other papers for online attention.

Why we left academia: Corporate scientists reveal their motives

28 December 2017

Elie Dolgin

Five scientists discuss the reasons they moved to an industry lab.

Here’s what’s wrong with companies backing out of science

12 December 2017

Ashish Arora, Sharon Belenzon & Andrea Patacconi

COMMENT: The withdrawal of large US corporations from research is narrowing the scope of innovation.

The shifting corporate–academic relationship in pictures

11 December 2017

Nature Index

Research partnerships between industry and academia have more than doubled in five years.

The top academic and corporate partners in the Nature Index

8 December 2017

Mark Zastrow

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

Help wanted: Industry seeks science alliances

7 December 2017

Katharine Gammon

Companies publishing high-quality research are looking to academia for assistance.

China's citations catching up

30 November 2017

Hepeng Jia

Papers from China are growing in influence and volume, yet the US remains supreme.

An alternative metric for Chinese social media chatter

27 November 2017

Hepeng Jia

Researchers develop a tool for tracking academic activity and impact on WeChat. 

UK deliberations leave young researchers in limbo

16 October 2017

Anthea Lacchia

Lack of clarity on changes to the country's research assessment system provokes anxiety among early-career researchers.

High-impact papers score well in REF, study finds

9 October 2017

Anthea Lacchia

Researchers in the UK find that the impact factor of journal articles matches judgements by a panel of experts on research quality.

Turning science into social outcomes

29 August 2017

Richard Jefferson

For innovation to bring public benefit, mapping the influence of academic papers is just the beginning.

Better measures needed for research cooperation

23 June 2017

Anthea Lacchia

Researchers wrestle with a measure of collaboration increasingly used to assess the impact of their work. 

China trades science along ancient Silk Road

30 May 2017

Hepeng Jia

The ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative will expand scientific collaborations with 64 countries in the region.

Success is just a bolt from the blue

5 January 2017

Adrian Barnett

Citations don't always reflect the quality or impact of a researcher's work. 

How should governments measure innovation?

11 October 2016

Branwen Morgan

There is a need to account for all types of innovation, from big to small. 

In research, time is as important as money

18 August 2016

Branwen Morgan

Do longer periods of funding lead to greater scientific returns? 

China's top 10 research universities in 2015

15 July 2016

The country's contribution to top journals continues to grow.