News archive

US-China scientists strengthen ties in coronavirus research

11 June 2020

Gemma Conroy

China displaces the US as the dominant player.

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?

These 10 countries top the ranks in chemistry research

12 December 2019

Gemma Conroy

Where the best chemistry takes place.

Times Higher Education releases its World University Rankings 2020

12 September 2019

Bec Crew

The United States dominates, but cracks are showing.

Experts question China’s bid to create world-class journals

4 September 2019

Hepeng Jia

"Scientists always prefer to publish in the world’s top journals over domestic ones."

This graphic reveals the most innovative countries for 2019

3 September 2019

Gemma Conroy

A strong showing from Asia.

These 10 institutions published the most papers in Nature and Science in 2018

3 September 2019

Gemma Conroy, Bec Crew

From CRISPR to CLARITY, here are some of the most high-profile studies.

The allure of the journal impact factor holds firm, despite its flaws

29 August 2019

Jon Brock

“Science needs a healthy dose of its own medicine, yet refuses to take the pill.”

The top 5 healthcare institutions for scientific research in 2018

27 August 2019

Bec Crew

The largest contributors to papers published in leading journals tracked by the Nature Index from the healthcare sector in 2018.

Snapshot: Princeton University impresses on two scores

20 August 2019

Bec Crew

The US’s fourth-oldest college wears the crown for high-quality research productivity among its peers.

"No one is immune": Alaska’s scientists despair over plan to shrink state universities

14 August 2019

Jonathan Lambert

The University of Alaska’s governing board plans to consolidate campuses to cope with a 40% cut in state funding.

The 5 most popular scientific papers of June 2019

24 July 2019

Bec Crew

Everything’s melting, but Boaty McBoatface is a beacon of hope.

Snapshot: The University of Tokyo – Asia’s star in the reputation ranks

23 July 2019

Bec Crew

The top-ranked university outside the US and UK for reputation.

10 key insights from the first research scorecards for G20 countries

19 July 2019

Bec Crew

Australia shines; the US, not so much.

Steve Jobs presents a lesson for young universities

16 July 2019

David Payne

It's time to take a risk on admissions to meet future workforce needs.

How to write a journal article in 12 weeks

11 July 2019

Bec Crew

What they don’t teach at your institution. 

Why can't British universities be more like New York University?

10 July 2019

David Payne

Former minister reveals thwarted hopes and the limits of political interference.

Here’s how to deal with failure, say senior scientists

5 July 2019

Bec Crew

Don’t take it personally.

Singapore joins the rise of research integrity networks

3 July 2019

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Global effort to combat research misconduct gathers pace.

The top 10 countries that dominate natural sciences research

1 July 2019

Nature Index

The United States reigns as the colossus but China is taking up ever more space, squeezing out European stalwarts.


The top 10 countries for scientific research in 2018

1 July 2019

Bec Crew

These countries were the year's largest contributors to papers published in the past year in the 82 leading journals tracked by the Nature Index.

“We can do anything we want”: How young universities say they're stealing a march on older competitors

27 June 2019

David Payne

The latest Times Higher Education rankings highlight innovation among universities established since 1945 and others aged 50 and under.

The top 5 most popular scientific papers of May 2019

25 June 2019

Bec Crew

Even tiny tyrannosaurs and synthetic life couldn't topple office politics.

The top 10 academic institutions in 2018: normalized

20 June 2019

Nature Index

This ranking shows which institutions might be punching above their weight in producing high-quality research.

The top 10 academic institutions in 2018

20 June 2019

Nature Index

Among the world’s academic institutions, these were the largest contributors to articles tracked by the Nature Index.

The top 10 institutions for chemistry in 2018

20 June 2019

Nature Index

These 10 institutions in the Nature Index were the largest contributors to chemistry papers published in 82 leading journals in 2018.

The top 10 institutions for Earth and environmental sciences in 2018

20 June 2019

Nature Index

These 10 institutions in the Nature Index were the largest contributors to papers in Earth and environmental sciences published in 82 leading journals in 2018.

The top 10 institutions for physical sciences in 2018

20 June 2019

Nature Index

These institutions were the largest contributors to physical-science papers for 2018 published in the 82 leading journals tracked by the Nature Index.

The top 10 institutions for life sciences in 2018

20 June 2019

Nature Index

These institutions were the largest contributors to life-sciences papers published in the 82 leading journals tracked by the Nature Index in 2018.

The top 10 research institutions for 2018

20 June 2019

Nature Index

These institutions were the largest contributors to papers published in the past year in the 82 leading journals tracked by the Nature Index.

Companies persist with biomedical papers

28 May 2019

Ashish Arora, Sharon Belenzon, Wesley Cohen,Andrea Patacconi

Corporate research in the life sciences endures, despite diminishing in other fields of science.

Stem-cell and genetic therapies make a healthy marriage

27 May 2019

Bianca Nogrady

This scientific partnership could fight everything from blood diseases to HIV.

Rapid progress transforms ideals of health

16 May 2019

Bianca Nogrady

Ethical and equity challenges become more urgent.

10 tips for tweeting research

9 May 2019

Bec Crew

Experts weigh in on how to make the most of a tweet.

How academics should use Twitter

7 May 2019

Bec Crew

Conservative social media guidelines stifle scientists' voices. 

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.

Unconscious bias limits women's careers

15 April 2019

Smriti Mallapaty

The vast gender gap in Japanese science has leading women researchers calling for change.

Career mobility: Researchers change places to progress

1 April 2019

Smriti Mallapaty (Data analysis by Rodrigo Costas Comesana)

Moving countries to further a career in science has its benefits, but it isn’t an option for everyone.

Japanese universities test collaboration

21 March 2019

David McNeill

Insular institutions seek ways to better accommodate international research partners.

Novel findings rare from international collaborations

7 March 2019

Caroline S. Wagner, Travis Whetsell & Satyam Mukherjee

Global teams shy away from risky research.

For risky research with great potential, dive deep

25 February 2019

Multimillion-dollar experiment generates tools to study marine microorganisms.

"A love letter to your future self": What scientists need to know about FAIR data

11 February 2019

Jon Brock

Following these guiding principles for sharing data can help researchers get ahead.

How Brexit threatens Irish science’s cross-border collaboration

31 January 2019

Declan Butler

Peace and common membership of the European Union have allowed scientists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to build a unique, cross-border research system.

In a race for mentions, it’s open season on researchers

18 January 2019

Alexandra Lippman and Christopher Kelty

The growing clamour for open access results makes scientists vulnerable, say Alexandra Lippman and Christopher Kelty.

China's Belt and Road Initiative finds new research partners in Europe

11 January 2019

Marijk van der Wende & Robert Tijssen

Smaller member states are the beneficiaries of China's global trade and diplomacy project.

China's place among the stars

8 January 2019

Mark Zastrow

The FAST telescope dish, stretching half a kilometre, will thrust China’s radio astronomers into a role of global leadership.

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.

China: Quality deficit belies the hype

24 December 2018

Futao Huang

Few Chinese researchers are regarded as global leaders, as the pressure for rapid output prevails.

China: Yielding results to feed a people

14 December 2018

Hepeng Jia

Studies to improve the productivity, resistance and taste of rice crops are central to China’s commanding position in plant biology.

China: All eyes on the prize

13 December 2018

Catherine Armitage

To become a world-leading scientific nation in every sense, China needs to close the quality gap.

Science cities: Discovery central

5 December 2018

Hepeng Jia

A hive of innovation, Wuhan has stormed up the Nature Index, but competition for talent is heating up.

Racial and ethnic disparities in NIH funding

29 November 2018

Raynard Kington & Donna Ginther

Research is elucidating a complicated phenomenon.

Science Cities: A venture under pressure

20 November 2018

Katherine Bourzac

Scientific innovation has long powered the San Francisco Bay Area’s economy, but community and political challenges could undermine progress.

Data Brief: US companies spend more on research

8 November 2018

Gemma Conroy

Businesses spent a small, but growing, amount of their R&D budgets on basic science.

From Tehran to Wuhan: Peripheral cities make an impact

6 November 2018

Marion Maisonobe, Laurent Jégou & Guillame Cabanac

The growing contribution of second-tier cities is narrowing the gap in research production.

Science Cities: São Paulo stands firm (but for how long?)

2 November 2018

Herton Escobar

The Latin American hub carries the scientific weight of a financially stricken country.

First analysis of ‘pre-registered’ studies shows sharp rise in null findings

30 October 2018

Matthew Warren

Logging hypotheses and protocols before performing research seems to work as intended: to reduce publication bias for positive results.

China hides identities of top scientific recruits amidst growing US scrutiny

22 October 2018

Scholars fear that affiliation with the high-status Thousand Talents scheme could make them targets of FBI investigations.

Less prestigious institutions deliver better value for grant money

18 October 2018

Catherine Armitage

Study finds "wasteful" skew in biomedical research funding towards those at the top.

Discovery relies on strong support staff

17 October 2018

David Langley & Therina Theron

A lack of trained administrators is holding African scientists back.

From punish to empower: A blame-free approach to research misconduct

16 October 2018

Lex Bouter

Research institutions have a duty to foster integrity, and that includes monitoring.

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.

The Nobel gender gap is worse than you think

8 October 2018

The Nature Index looks at the share of science medals and prizes that have gone to women.

The top rising stars in the Nature Index

5 October 2018

Anja Krieger et al.

Although China leads the pack, fast-moving institutions are building their research reputations the world over.

11 up-and-coming researchers in the natural sciences

20 September 2018

Catherine Armitage et al.

These newcomers are making their mark in science across the disciplines.

The cost of staying put

18 September 2018

Smriti Mallapaty

In academia’s great migration, some researchers are at a disadvantage.

Peer reviewers unmasked: largest global survey reveals trends

11 September 2018

Inga Vesper

Scientists in emerging economies respond fastest to peer review invitations, but are invited least.

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. 

How freely should scientists share their data?

16 August 2018

Daniel Barron

The Open Science movement champions transparency, but how much and how quickly is a matter of dispute.

Q&A Adam Russell: The search for automated tools to rate research reproducibility

8 August 2018

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

A US project is exploring the use of software to assign confidence levels to published research.  

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. 

Science career ads are disproportionately seen by men

1 August 2018

Dina Fine Maron

Marketing algorithms prevent many women from seeing the advertising, even though it’s illegal to target jobs to one gender.

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. 

Q&A Karen Seto: Paving the way to an urban future

20 July 2018

Catherine Armitage

The scale of growth in cities challenges scientists and policy-makers.

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.

Earth and environmental sciences in the line of fire

28 June 2018

Katherine Bourzac

By modelling the course of climate change, scientists are building an arsenal to prepare for its impact.

Australian researchers ‘vulnerable’ under new code of conduct

20 June 2018

Smriti Mallapaty

Lack of independent oversight in examining alleged breaches leaves academics at the whim of institutions.

2018 Annual Tables: Tsinghua joins elite group of research universities

7 June 2018

Two Beijing-based universities are among the top 10 academic institutions in the Nature Index.

Who gets credit? Survey digs into the thorny question of authorship

31 May 2018

Giorgia Guglielmi

Most researchers agree that drafting papers and interpreting results deserve recognition — but opinions don’t always match authorship guidelines.

Citation analysis reveals the game changers

29 May 2018

Gemma Conroy

A study identifies papers that stand the test of time.

Q&A Mary Frank Fox: Time to ditch the leaky pipeline model

25 May 2018

Policies should account for the institutional factors that discriminate against women.

Rockefeller tops Leiden university ranking for eighth consecutive year

20 May 2018

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

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.

Cancer funding in the UK fits global pattern of gender bias

15 May 2018

Women receive fewer and smaller grants across the world.

Open-access model is a return to the origins of journal publishing

11 May 2018

Gavin Moodie

Until recently, many university and society journals operated at a loss, says Gavin Moodie.

UK challenges US in Nobel dominance

9 May 2018

A per-capita analysis of physics, chemistry and medicine laureates since the turn of the century reveals the United Kingdom as the most prolific nation.

Science in North Korea: How easing the nuclear stand-off might bolster research

2 May 2018

Richard Van Noorden

The isolated nation publishes fewer than 100 scholarly articles a year — but as political tensions thaw, researchers hope for greater collaboration.

Q&A Felicitas Hesselmann: Vague and varied retractions point to weakness in the scientific community

1 May 2018

The scientific method is not applied in dealing with aberrant research behaviour.

Pillars of a smart society: From blockchain to surgical robots

18 April 2018

Across the scientific fields, Japanese researchers are bringing together the virtual and real worlds.

Adjusted metric explainer

17 April 2018

The new metric will account for annual global changes in the Nature Index corpus.

Applied Physics Letters publishes ‘fewer, but better’ articles

17 April 2018

Noted journal among several reducing article counts in a competitive market.

Japan bets on science diplomacy

16 April 2018

Daniel Hurst

International collaborations are rising, but not enough to put Japan on the global researcher circuit.

AI engineers, data scientists - Japan needs you

10 April 2018

Tim Hornyak

Japan's vision of a high-tech, 'super-smart' society relies on sustained investment to arrest scientific decline.

It’s time for the US to get serious about funding open access

4 April 2018

Rachael Samberg et al.

University of California libraries tackle the transition from subscription-based publishing to sustainable open access.

China's science ministry gets power to attract more foreign scientists

23 March 2018

Hepeng Jia

Science super-ministry gains new remit to develop policies that benefit international researchers.

Japanese government urges young scientists towards industry

23 March 2018

Nature Index

With permanent academic jobs scarce, the government wants industry to utilize young talent. 

Drug research priorities at odds with global disease toll

16 March 2018

Alfredo Yegros et al.

COMMENT: Large pharmaceutical companies do not target their scientific efforts on the deadliest diseases.

Why are scientists anxious?

14 March 2018

Public regard for scientists is as strong as ever, but you wouldn't know it.

Japan's woman problem

8 March 2018

Noriko Osumi

Less than 15% of researchers in Japan are female. Urgent culture change is needed, argues Noriko Osumi.

Not so fast. Who really leads the world in science?

2 March 2018

China produces the most scientific articles, but lags on other measures. 

United States and South Korea the world’s biggest science novelty acts

21 February 2018

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

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

China and the United States are science sweethearts

14 February 2018

It's hard to believe, but the two largest rivals for global science leadership, are also the closest companions.

The secrets of Switzerland’s surprisingly high citations success

24 January 2018

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Small countries have an outsized presence among the scientific elite.

Disagreement over the legal definition of misconduct

9 January 2018

Yojana Sharma

Without clear and consistent terminology, policing can be tricky.

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.

Companies are outsourcing discovery to external partners

26 December 2017

Stepping back from in-house science, companies are relying heavily on universities and government institutions for knowledge.

In Japan, corporates make reluctant partners

20 December 2017

Ichiko Fuyuno

The Japanese government wants to lure more industry funding into universities, but companies need to be convinced they’ll get value.

Industry links boost research output

18 December 2017

Neil Savage

New findings suggest corporate collaboration encourages academic productivity.

Female researchers add their superiors as authors

15 December 2017

Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Survey finds that women are more prone to recognizing honorary co-authors in papers, but less likely to pad citation lists.

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.

China's citations catching up

30 November 2017

Hepeng Jia

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

Students in research: Cost or investment?

28 November 2017

Sujata Gupta

Undergraduate research programmes are expensive, and the benefits can be hard to measure.

This midwestern US state has great chemistry

24 November 2017

Cassandra Willyard

Key investments in people and infrastructure have turned Illinois into a state of substance.

Strategies to sidestep selfish peer reviewers

20 November 2017

Jon Brock

Researchers point to options for tackling bias against competitors.

The problem with chasing publications

16 November 2017

Julia Lane

COMMENT: National initiatives that track people, rather than papers, will lead to better science in the United States.

Young scientists flail in sink or swim system

13 November 2017

Elie Dolgin

More support is needed to keep early-career investigators in a biomedical research career

Scramble for US science dollars set to intensify

10 November 2017

Scott Andes and Daniel Correa

Even if the biggest cuts since World War II don't eventuate, alternative funding sources must be found. 

Canada’s future as a refuge for researchers could be short-lived

9 November 2017

Ian Munroe

An open society makes Canada an attractive destination for students and scientists, but only as long as government promises for increased funding are met.

Trouble at the top

7 November 2017

Declining outputs in California, Massachusetts, New York and Maryland have made the biggest dent in US science.

Look west for resistance

3 November 2017

Katharine Gammon

With the most to lose from looming federal funding cuts, California's researchers take a stand.

Testing times for US science

2 November 2017

Nature Index

At the current pace, China could overtake the US as the global science leader within a decade.

On the biotech block

26 October 2017

Alexandra Ossola

New York's expensive office and lab spaces have deterred innovative life science firms, but with growing support for start-ups, the scene is changing.

New tool tracks gender imbalance in medicine

6 October 2017

Gemma Conroy

Gender proportions in medical schools are almost equal, but disparities persist further up the ranks, a new tracking tool reveals. 

Mouse pee, spider poison, and wasps' nests: 2017 Nobel research faces earthly problems

4 October 2017

Katherine Bourzac

The committed team behind the observation of gravitational waves is up against nature.

The US leads the Nature Index top 500

19 September 2017

140 institutions in the United States have spent five consecutive years in the Nature Index top 500.

New entrants to the Nature Index

14 September 2017

Nature Index

A few institutions in the United States, China and Germany make it into the top 500 for the first time.

The long and short of US-China rivalry

31 August 2017

Nature Index

China has the largest number of institutions that have risen up the top 500 ranks over the past five years.

UK-Indonesia partnership grows out of a conversation

27 July 2017

Dyna Rochmyaningsih

An encounter between two visiting social scientists at the University of Oxford was the catalyst for a unique partnership.

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. 

US research in a state of decline

6 June 2017

Nature Index

California, Massachusetts and New York produce the most high-quality research, but their output is in decline. 

US-Uganda partnership uncovers potential culprit in mysterious nodding syndrome

4 April 2017

Linda Nordling

International team publish landmark paper on debilitating form of childhood epilepsy.

Japan loses share of research articles to China

24 March 2017

Nicky Phillips

Despite being among the top science nations, Japan's publication output has stalled over the past decade.

China and South Korea flash the cash in R&D race

24 February 2017

Ivy Shih

G20 countries dominate global research spending and production, but the mix is changing.

Turbulent times for scientists with the 'wrong' papers

20 February 2017

Flynn Murphy

As Donald Trump’s bid to reinstate his travel ban failed last week, three Iranian scientists speak of their fears amid the uncertainty.

The team of scientists finding new ways to develop drugs for kids with rare cancers

2 December 2016

Neil Savage

An encounter helped kick-start the development of new cancer drugs.

Does proximity play a role in science collaborations?

30 November 2016

Neil Savage

Proximity is just one factor driving the high number of collaborations between top performing institutes in the same city. 

Innovators file record number of patent applications in China

24 November 2016

Ivy Shih

China's appetite for patents leads the world. 

Partnerships between US and Chinese scientists surge

18 November 2016

Sujata Gupta

Research partnerships between the two superpowers outnumber all other international pairings.

Chinese and US researchers team up to study forests in a warming world

15 November 2016

Sujata Gupta

A new program is encouraging climate change research partnerships between two research powerhouses.

In research, time is as important as money

18 August 2016

Branwen Morgan

Do longer periods of funding lead to greater scientific returns? 

Rising stars: Baylor, the best medicine

25 July 2016

James Mitchell Crow, Mark Zastrow

BCM’s contribution to high-quality research rose 39% from 2012 to 2015.

Tracing bloodlines for the roots of an age-old friendship

17 July 2016

Bianca Nogrady

An international team hunt for the origins of dog domestication.

Swapping burgers for beans: an unusual experiment reveals another pitfall of Western diets

11 July 2016

Linda Nordling

A ground breaking colon cancer experiment that swapped the burgers-and-fries diet of African Americans with the traditional fare of rural South Africans was sparked by a chance encounter.

China's diaspora key to science collaborations

23 June 2016

Peng Tian

Links formed by mainland China's large scientific diaspora and its increasing output of high-quality research make it an emerging centre of international collaboration.

Top 5 universities for environment research in 2015

21 June 2016

Neil Savage

Four of the top five universities producing the most earth and environment research in the index last year are in the United States. 

America's top 10 research universities in 2015

17 June 2016

Nicky Phillips

It's a battle between the east and west coast.

170 years after it made medical history, this US hospital is still at the cutting edge

4 May 2016

Jennifer Hackett

Massachusetts General Hospital is the most prolific healthcare organisation publishing in top journals.

IBM tops ranking of scientific publishing in 2015

25 April 2016

Tim Hornyak

IBM topped the Nature Index ranking of companies publishing in leading research journals in 2015.

US leads science pack, but its grip is loosening

22 April 2016

Jennifer Hackett

When it comes to the world’s best natural science research, no nation can match the United States.

Ten institutions that dominated science in 2015

20 April 2016

Sarah O'Meara

The top 10 institutions in the Nature Index are the largest contributors to papers published in 68 leading journals in 2015

Brazil's Russian connection

5 April 2016

Linda Nordling

A handful of influential professors are behind research partnerships between Russia and Brazil.