Yonsei University takes number one spot

Media releases, Nature, Nature Publishing Index 2012 Asia-Pacific


Thursday 21 March 2013

Yonsei University topped the national institutional research rankings in South Korea for the first time, according to the Nature Publishing Index (NPI) Asia-Pacific 2012. Yonsei overtook traditional leader Seoul National University which took second place. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) completes the top three. The NPI Asia-Pacific 2012 has been released as a supplement to Nature today. It measures the output of research articles from nations and institutes published in the 18 Nature-branded primary research journals over the calendar year.

At a regional level:

  • South Korea remains the fourth-ranked country in the Asia-Pacific region, behind Japan, China and Australia, with almost double the output of fast-growing fifth-placed Singapore.
  • South Korea is represented by 13 research institutes in the Asia-Pacific top 100 — up from ten the previous two years.
  • Overall the country’s scientific output in Nature research journals fell slightly.

Within South Korea:

  • Yonsei University, Seoul National University and the Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) take the top three spots.
  • Sungkyunkwan University has jumped from eighth in 2011 to fourth.
  • Hanyang University has jumped from seventh to fifth.
  • Korea University dropped to sixth place, with slightly reduced output.
  • Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology jumped from 13th to seventh with a more than four-fold increase in output.
  • Pohang University of Science & Technology dropped from third to eighth.
  • Samsung dropped from fourth to ninth.
  • Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology, a newcomer to the NPI, came in tenth.

With newly elected president, Park Geun-hye, making science and technology policy a cornerstone of her government, South Korea is taking steps to ensure it maintains its scientific output. The nation is already showing leadership in the science of graphene — the one-atom-thick sheets of carbon that have potential technological application in electronic displays, solar cells and computer chips. Sungkyunkwan University, ranked fourth in South Korea, leads the world in graphene patent publications.

The supplement provides a snapshot of research in the Asia-Pacific in 2012. To see the latest results for the region, and the Nature Publishing Index Global Top 100, visit the Index website at www.natureasia.com/en/publishing-index/. The data posted on the website is updated every week with a moving window of 12 months of data.


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Notes on the Nature Publishing Index:

The Nature Publishing Index (NPI) results should be used with some caveats. It is based only on the publication output in Nature and the 17 Nature research journals. So while it offers a broad coverage of basic research in the life sciences, physical and chemical sciences, the attention to applied sciences, engineering and clinical medicine is relatively limited. The NPI should be used primarily as an indicator of strength in high quality basic research. It does not weight multiple factors in the way that other rankings do, such as the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities or the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The output of an institution or country obviously depends on its size. Some institutions have very large numbers of researchers that help drive up their rankings. So it is important to take into account the numbers of researchers in an institution or country when interpreting the results.

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