Leiden ranks Rice No. 1 for natural sciences and engineering, No. 6 for all sciences

Rice University is ranked No. 1 among the world’s top universities in the field of natural sciences and engineering for the quality and impact of its scientific publications, according to the Leiden rankings for 2013. Rice is ranked No. 6 for all sciences.

The Leiden rankings measure the scientific performance of 500 major universities around the world. The rankings are calculated by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in Netherlands. The 2013 rankings are based on indexed publications from 2008 to 2011 from the Web of Science bibliographic database produced by Thomson Reuters. Web of Science is a reference tool for retrieving accurate citation counts.

The rankings depend heavily on the proportion of a university’s presence in “top 10 percent” publications — those most frequently cited — and on the school’s involvement in scientific collaboration. The Leiden rankings do not rely on subjective data obtained from reputational surveys or on data provided by universities themselves.

In the field of natural sciences and engineering, 28.7 percent of Rice’s scientific papers were in top 10 percent publications.

“The Leiden rankings reflect the high impact of Rice science and engineering research discoveries on their own and other disciplines, as well as the productivity of Rice research faculty and staff compared with other universities,” said Ned Thomas, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering and professor in mechanical engineering and materials science and in chemical and biomolecular engineering. “Our top ranking also attests to our collaborations with other organizations, industrial partners and collaborators in other countries. When rankings are size-independent, we are recognized by our colleagues as among the most influential researchers in the world.”

“Rice has made and continues to make steady, significant commitments to all disciplines in the natural sciences,” said Dan Carson, dean of Rice’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the Schlumberger Chair of Advanced Studies and Research and professor of biochemistry and cell biology. “This has included growth of new and existing programs, support of student research and recruitment of outstanding faculty members. It is gratifying to see the hard work and dedication of our faculty and students recognized so visibly by the Leiden rankings.”

For all sciences, 21.3 percent of Rice’s scientific papers were in top 10 percent publications, compared with 25 percent of No. 1-ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Also preceding Rice on the list were University of California, Santa Barbara at No. 2, Stanford at No. 3, Princeton at No. 4 and Harvard at No. 5.

Below are Rice’s rankings among the world’s top universities in other fields measured by Leiden:

  • Mathematics and computer science – No. 18
  • Life and Earth sciences – No. 34
  • Biomedical and health science – No. 45
  • Social sciences and humanities – No. 62

To view the complete rankings, visit www.leidenranking.com/.




About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.