​Latest 2017 Nature Index: Nanjing University Ranks 12th in World’s Top Universities, 2nd in Chinese Mainland

Nature Publishing Group has updated the latest nature index, ranking Nanjing University as the 12th in world’s top universities, the 3rd in the Asian-Pacific region and the 2nd in Chinese mainland.

The Group collected nature index statistics from October 1 in 2015 to November 30 in 2016.

Compared to the Weighted Fractional Count (WFC) in Nature Index Tables 2016, of the top 20 universities in the world, only four Chinese universities have kept sustained growth while overseas universities generally showed a negative growth.

It is estimated that Nanjing University will still make progress in Nature Index Tables 2017 even if the growth is slowed down.  

In the field of chemistry, Nanjing University ranks the 3nd in the world’s top universities and the 2nd in Chinese mainland universities.

In the field of physics, it ranks the 15th in the world’s top universities and the 4th in Chinese mainland.

As for geoscience and environmental science, it ranks the 24th in the world and the 1st in Chinese mainland.

Global ranking

 In the Asian-Pacific region

In Mainland China

In the field of chemistry

In the field of physics

In the fields of geoscience and environment

About Nature Index

On November 13, 2014, Nature Publishing Group introduced the Nature Index (NI) reflecting the quality of scientific research. As an indicator, NI has been well received by scientific community in the world.

The core idea is to reflect scientific research situations of countries, regions and institutions around the world over a certain period of time on the basis of research results published in 68 major academic journals in the field of natural sciences.


It took Nature Publishing Group several years to develop and finally introduce NI.

The group began with selecting many world-recognized top journals. It chose these journals not only based on their impact factors but also and more importantly based on researchers’ recognition so as to make sure that NI can reflect the overall situation of global scientific research.

The group collected about 60,000 high quality research papers, which covered more than 20,000 scientific research institutions and universities, and finally, it picked out the 68 major journals.

These 68 journals account for 0.6% of international journals while citations of the 68 account for 30% of the total citations of natural science journals.

To a certain extent, therefore, papers published in these 68 journals represent the high standard of global scientific research.  

Natural Index journals are selected by two independent panels, namely material science and bioscience panels headed, respectively, by Professor John Morton and Doctor Yin-Biao Sun from University College London, and the panelists consisted of well-known scientists from different areas.

To select high caliber journals in various fields of research, the panels carried out a large-scale survey of top universities and research institutes in the world, on top of the selection by noted scholars.

The survey received over 2,800 replies including that from Nanjing University.

Nature Publishing Group divided the 68 journals into four areas, with 18 chemistry journals, 22 physics journals, 12 earth and environment journals and 35 life science journals. Some journals belong to more than one of the four areas.  

It is important to note that although papers evaluated by NI are from the 68 journals, it does not mean that all of the articles from these journals would be included.

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