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Excellent results for the University of Würzburg in the Leiden Ranking


The prestigious CWTS Leiden Ranking, which compares the research excellence of universities and their faculties worldwide on the basis of publication and citation figures, gives top marks to the JMU.

The building of the JMU at Sanderring
Particularly in the categories "Life and Earth Sciences" as well as "Biomedical and Health Sciences" the University of Würzburg is successful. (Image: Robert Emmerich / Universität Würzburg)

Publications in scientific journals and the attention they receive in the scientific community are an important currency in the world of science. This year's international Leiden Ranking analyses all papers published in the "Web of Science" database between 2015 and 2018 and confirms that the University of Würzburg has a particularly high proportion of frequently cited publications among its published research papers.

Almost one in six articles published between 2015 and 2018 with the participation of Würzburg scientists is among the top ten percent of the most frequently cited papers in its field and year of publication. The University of Würzburg thus ranks 3rd in Germany and 133rd worldwide.

International top research in natural and life sciences

When considering the papers that are among the ten percent most frequently cited in the individual subject areas in the current Leiden Ranking, the University of Würzburg is particularly successful in the categories "Life and Earth Sciences" (1st in Germany and 61st worldwide) as well as "Biomedical and Health Sciences" (4th in Germany 88th worldwide). Now if you compare only the top of the most frequently cited publications – i.e. the one percent that is cited extremely often in other papers – the University of Würzburg ranks 2nd in Germany and 40th worldwide in the "Life and Earth Sciences" category.

These figures confirm the results of other relevant rankings such as the Nature Index which has also acknowledged the excellent research of Würzburg chemistry, physics, medicine and biology for several years. The University of Würzburg's output is particularly strong in the natural science subjects: Chemistry is ranked 84th globally and 6th in Germany; physics ranks 85th worldwide and 7th in Germany. Würzburg life sciences are ranked 12th among German universities. These subject areas are not analysed separately in the Leiden Ranking.

In the current Leiden Ranking, the share of publications that have been produced in cooperation with international research institutions are another indicator that confirms the research excellence of the University of Würzburg. Over the past years, the share of these publications at the JMU has increased continuously: from around 47 percent in the first Leiden Ranking (2011/12) to over 60 percent today. This puts the JMU among the top ten German universities in terms of its international research focus.

How the Leiden Ranking works

The Leiden Ranking determines the research strength of universities solely on the basis of bibliometric data: The number of publications as well as the number of citations of these papers are decisive for the result. To be included in the Leiden Ranking, a university must have at least 800 publications in internationally relevant journals in the "Web of Science" database for the time between 2015 and 2018. In 2020, 1176 universities from 65 countries meet this requirement. The ranking not only enables individual subject areas or countries to be evaluated separately but also allows the universities to be assessed according to different criteria (such as: the number of publications, the share of all publications that were among the ten percent most frequently cited; the share of publications that were produced in international cooperation).

To see the results of the Leiden Ranking, click here: https://www.leidenranking.com/ranking/2020/list

By Dr. Nicolas Giersig