St. Petersburg State University is the only Russian institution among the top 100 rapidly developing scientific organizations in the world, according to the Nature Index Rising Stars. The supplement to the most prestigious scientific journal, Nature, which assesses countries and organizations that are actively increasing the number of contributions to journals with high impact factors, was published on July 28.

Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars assesses more than 8000 Academies of Sciences, research centres and universities on the dynamics of growth in the number of publications in the leading journals on natural sciences. The ranking is based on contributions to 68 high-quality scientific journals, including Nature, Science, Cell, Geology, Chemical Science, Physical Review, Neuron, and many others.

According to the Nature ranking, St. Petersburg State University is the only Russian institution among the 100 global research organizations that have demonstrated outstanding performance. The ranking is traditionally dominated by scientific organizations from China (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking, Tsinghua, Fudan and other universities), and US and UK universities, such as Stanford and Oxford, have strong positions as well.

"The results of the Nature ranking prove that we have been right to focus on the creation of a research infrastructure and on supporting the most promising scientific projects, selected competitively," said the SPbU rector Nikolay Kropachev.. "A significant increase in the quality of research carried out by our scientists and in their global demand is largely due to SPbU's successful implementation of the state programme of mega-grants and of the Russian Science Foundation projects, as well as the creation of research laboratories as part of internal university competitions."

"I would like to congratulate SPbU staff with this exceptional success – being named among the top hundred of one of the most prestigious scientific rankings, compiled by Nature, the most famous journal on natural sciences.

As the rector of Skoltech, I very much hope that our day will come as well. But I am still jealous.

Jokes aside, having recently been on a tour around St. Petersburg State University, I can say with confidence that this result is in no way accidental. Undoubtedly, it comes from the excellent management system that the University has built. And I would like to personally congratulate the rector, Nikolay Kropachev, who was instrumental to this achievement," said Professor Alexander Kuleshov, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Skoltech rector.


Background: Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars is based on publication output of global scientific organizations. The main indicator that is used in the Nature Index analysis is article count (AC). An author's country and institution are both given an AC of 1 for each article written by this author, including collaborations. The second indicator demonstrates a country's or an institution's contribution to an article (fractional count, FC). Contributions by all co-authors are assumed to be equal, therefore the total FC per paper is 1, which is equally divided between all authors. For instance, a paper with 2 authors means that each author receives an FC of 0.5. The third indicator used is the weighted fractional count (WFC), which was introduced to adjust for the abundance of papers in astronomy and astrophysics (about five times the equivalent percentage for other fields). To derive the WFC, the FC is multiplied by 0.2.

In addition to presenting the global top 100, the Nature Index Rising Stars supplement groups scientific organizations by region (Asia-Pacific, South East Europe, Middle East and West Asia, South East Asia, Africa, Central and South America, East Asia, North America, and Western Europe). The ranking also includes information about countries that have demonstrated a significant increase in publication output (Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, South Africa, India, Chile, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey).