Rice earns top science rankings in new global study

No. 1 for materials science and chemistry, No. 2 for engineering

Rice University earned the top worldwide ranking in both materials science and chemistry in a new study from the Max Planck Society in Germany, based on citations of research papers.

Rice also ranked second in engineering, fourth in physics and astronomy, and eighth in computer science.

The study, titled “Ranking and Mapping of Universities and Research-focused Institutions Worldwide Based on Highly-cited Papers,” was published online last month at arxiv.org. It measures excellence on the rate at which an institution produces highly cited scientific papers.

Specifically, the researchers examined the number of papers an institution produced in a given discipline, as well as the number of those papers that were among the top 10 percent of the most highly cited in the field.

The authors published a password-protected online app at www.excellencemapping.net that displays the rankings by discipline on an interactive global map. They noted the ranking is intended for research purposes only.

In addition to five placements in the top 10, Rice had several other departments that were cited in the worldwide rankings. To view Rice’s complete results, request a password for the online app by emailing the authors at password-request@excellencemapping.net.

The study is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.0304.

The Max Planck Society, established in 1948, is considered Germany’s most successful research organization. Researchers at Max Planck Institutes publish more than 15,000 articles each year in internationally renowned scientific journals.


About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.