World University Research Rankings: Europe Excels for Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Research

A new international research ranking has made its debut.  The World University Research Rankings (WURR) are published by World Scientific, a leading scientific and professional publishing company based in Singapore, which is well known for publishing the Nobel Lectures.

WURR do not measure only the quantity of publications or citations.  There are three elements: multidisciplinary research, research impact and research collaboration.

There are seven indicators, each of which contributes one seventh of the total weighting:

  • Multidisciplinary research across different fields
  • Multidisciplinary research across different categories in the same field
  • Category normalised citation impact
  • Percentage of publications in journals in the top quartile by research impact
  • Percentage of documents in the top 1% of documents by field, year and document type
  • Collaboration with industry
  • International collaboration.

The current ranking shows that Europe is doing very well especially for collaborative and multidisciplinary research. There are seven European universities in the overall top ten and the multidisciplinary indicator is also dominated by European institutions with the Polytechnic University of Milan in first place.

The collaboration index is headed by CentraleSupelec. The top twelve places are all European, including three from France, and two each from Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland.

In contrast, the impact ranking looks very similar to other research-based tables with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the top followed by Stanford and Harvard.

The top five universities in the overall ranking are:

  1. MIT, USA
  2. Technical University of Denmark
  3. EPF Lausanne, Switzerland
  4. Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  5. Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands.



World Scientific

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