24 March 2017

Nature Index has published a supplement on Japan indicating that the country’s research output has stagnated over the last few years both relatively and absolutely. Between 2005 and 2015 Japan’s world share of research articles fell from 8.4% to 5.2%. In contrast, the number of papers produced in China has increased remarkably.

Although the government has attempted to attract leading international scientists most universities have responded to government austerity measures by reducing staff numbers and the opportunities for early career researchers.

Among Japanese institutions, the Index shows that the University of Tokyo continues to be dominant in research followed by Kyoto University.

The top ten universities overall according to the weighted fractional count of articles published in high quality journals are:

  1. University of Tokyo
  2. Kyoko University
  3. Osaka University
  4. Tohoku University
  5. RIKEN
  6. Tokyo Institute of Technology
  7. Nagoya University
  8. Kyushu University
  9. Hokkaido University
  10. National Institute for Materials Science.

Tables are also provided for life sciences, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, and physical sciences and for academic, healthcare, corporate, and government/ not-for profit institutions.

The top institutions in each categoryare:

Life sciences: University of Tokyo

Chemistry: Kyoto University

Earth and environmental sciences: University of Tokyo

Physical sciences: University of Tokyo

Academic institution: University of Tokyo

Healthcare institution: National Cancer Center

Corporate institution: NTT Basic Research Laboratories

Government/ not-for-profit institution: RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science.

Nature Index

IREG Initiatives

With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.


The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.


National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.


News from IREG Members

The worldwide ranking UI GreenMetric Workshop in Bologna

This Bologna workshop is aimed to highlight the commitment of Italian universities towards a sustainable 360° approach. UI GM Chairperson, Riri Fitri Sari, will showcase the ranking’s structure and indicators in details. Italian participants are warmly invited to ask questions and raise issues concerning the specificity of the Italian universities to fit into the UI GreenMetric ranking. The Alma Mater Studiorum assumes the role of National Network Hub for UI GM in the framework of this event that will also host experts from RUS (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile).

Ranking conference in Warsaw

Polish universities feel, they deserve a better place in international rankings. To discuss what can and should be done to improve the quality of research, rectors of best universities in the country gathered 1-2 December in Warsaw at the conference “Polish Universities in International Perspective – Rankings and Strategic Management of University” organized by Perspektywy Education Foundation jointly with the Conference of Rectors (CRASP) and Polish Accreditation Commission (PAC).

Conference on Universities’ Reputation

Spanish Universidad de Navarra organizes the International Conference BUILDING UNIVERSITIES' REPUTATION Understanding the Student Perspective – Key to a Reputation Strategy, Pamplona, Spain 30-31 March 2017. www.unav.edu/bur

Report on Activities of IREG Observatory 2015-1016

Dr. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at the General Assembly held in Lisbon on 6 May 2016 presented a detailed report on activities of the organization, the President and members of the Executive Committee in the period: May 2015 – May 2016.

You may ready the report HERE.

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