Au Unmatched Still at Asia-Pacific Nature Index

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By Athena Yenko | March 28, 2014 1:59 PM EST

Australia remains unmatched in Asia-Pacific Nature Publishing Index (NPI).

Australia had 10 institutions and 19 universities in the Asia-Pacific top 200 in Nature Publishing Index which evaluate the number of contributed articles to journal Nature of 18 titles.

The University of Melbourne garnered 8th place among universities and institutions in the Asia-Pacific; 54th among universities and institutions in the world; first in Nature Immunology ranking.

The index proved that Australia remained unmatched in its expertise in immunology and earth and environmental science.

"Asia-Pacific will continue to be an engine of growth for quality research output. And if the giants of the region, China and India, can match the efficiency of smaller nations like Singapore and Australia, the effect on global science and innovation will be truly transformative," as written according to the index.

Japan still leads all institutions in Asia-Pacific as the institution to have the most abundant article. However, the country produced less articles with international partnership.

Australia had almost 50 per cent more contributions to Nature in 2013 as compared in 2012 which made it the second highest of the institutions with international collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region.

"International collaboration is one of the reasons Australia does as well as it does. When you are a medium-sized research contributor like Australia is you have to have a strategy that includes large scale international collaboration," Nick Campbell, the Shanghai-based executive editor of Nature said.

China showed a dramatic growth in its produced articles and for the first time, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, tops the Asia-Pacific institutional contributor to NPI.

Nevertheless China still lagged behind Singapore and Australia in its NPI contribution in terms of the amount of researchers.

Meanwhile, Jim McCluskey, deputy vice-chancellor (research), told The Australian that the University of Melbourne maintained its place in the index because of its expertise in the biomedical arena.

 "That naturally plays into Nature's branded journals. These things go up and down. This is only one very small signature of research excellence. It's a reflection of the quality and research strategy of the university which is heavily invested, by chance, where Nature have a number of specialist journals."

University of NSW got the award of the fastest movers Walter and Eliza Hall Institute up 35 places to 33, Swinburne, up 36 places to 64 and the University of Adelaide which jumped 59 places to land at 66.

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