GW international scientific ranking falls to recent low: report

Media Credit: Danielle Towers | Assistant Photo Editor

The data from the report shows that GW heavily relies on biomedical and health publications, which make up more than half of GW’s published research.

The University’s international scientific influence fell to an all-time low in global rankings released in late June.

GW ranked 415th out of more than 1,300 institutions from around the world – its lowest ranking since at least 2011 – in this year’s annual CWTS Leiden Rankings, which is an international ranking of universities’ research that is published by Leiden University in the Netherlands. The Leiden Ranking system counts the number of scientific publications from each university and shows how many of those are in the top 10 percent most frequently cited in their given field to measure the institution’s scientific influence.

GW has fallen in the Leiden rankings over the past few years, ranking at 392 in 2020 and after placing closer to 280 about a decade ago. The University released more than 3,500 scientific publications between 2017 and 2020 in different research areas, with 431 of them considered in the top 10 percent of publications, according to the rankings.

Seven out of the University’s 12 peer institutions outperformed GW on the list, with New York University, University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California ranked 100 or higher, but Georgetown and Wake Forest universities lagged behind at 609th and 525th, respectively.

Despite the number of publications GW puts out compared to its peers, only four of GW’s peer institutions – Boston University, Tufts University, the University of Southern California and the University of Rochester – put out a higher percentage of publications considered in the top 10 percent most prestigious in their fields, according to the rankings.

The data from the report also shows that GW heavily relies on biomedical and health publications, which make up more than half of GW’s published research, and the closest second – social sciences and humanities – account for less than a quarter of the remaining research, according to the data.

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