JIC and TSL top in plant and animal science

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The John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory have topped a survey ranking the most influential papers of the last ten years in plant and animal sciences. A total of 88,700 institutions were surveyed worldwide. JIC and TSL on the Norwich Research Park were ranked significantly higher than any other organization.

The Norwich institutes do not produce the highest number of papers, but their papers have the greatest impact. The survey, published by Times Higher Education, analyzed the average number of times research papers were cited by other scientists.

Between 1999 and 2009 JIC and TSL papers were cited more frequently than papers from any other organization.

JIC and TSL published 1,134 papers in the area of plant and animal science, from January 1999 to December 2009. These papers were cited over 42,000 times in other research papers, which is an average of 37.54 citations per paper. The only other UK organization to appear in the top 20 was the University of Cambridge with 13.28 citations per paper.

“This is a ringing endorsement of the world-class science carried out at BBSRC Institutes,” said Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which provides core funding to JIC. “The John Innes Centre, alongside our other Institutes, plays an invaluable role in nurturing long-term, strategically important research which will help us tackle some of the biggest challenges faced by our society.”

“This is a great accolade for the John Innes Centre and Sainsbury Laboratory, and it’s great news for the Norwich Research Park and UK science in general,” said Professor Michael Bevan, director of the John Innes Centre. “It’s a mark of the research done by our scientists that we have managed to get so many highly-regarded papers published in top journals. It’s a real testament to the quality of science here and the fantastic support and resources we have in Norwich.”

“In the past 22 years the Sainsbury Lab has made outstanding contributions to understanding plant immunity and how pathogens overcome it, as well as to the discovery of mechanisms of gene silencing,” said Professor Sophien Kamoun, head of the Sainsbury Laboratory. “Our scientific impact has benefited from our co-location and collaboration with colleagues at the JIC, as well as the generous support of the Gatsby Foundation. These interactions have been further strengthened in the last few years with joint faculty appointments, and we look forward to building on our successes and continuing to produce outstanding science as well as solutions to crop disease problems.”

The ranking

Data provided by Thomson Reuters from its Essential Science Indicators, January 1999-June 2009, published in Times Higher Education:


Institution Papers Citations Citations per paper
1 John Innes Centre, UK 1,134 42,568 37.54
2 RIKEN, Japan 926 25,453 27.49
3 Max Planck Society, Germany 2,858 65,851 23.04
4 University of California, San Diego 1,143 25,349 22.18
5 University of California, Berkeley 2,121 43,417 20.47
6 University of Arizona 1,717 31,073 18.1
7 CNRS, France 2,303 33,022 14.34
8 University of Washington 2,226 31,089 13.97
9 Wageningen University 4,083 54,517 13.35
10 University of Cambridge 1,949 25,875 13.28
11 CSIRO, Australia 3,729 49,339 13.23
12 Cornell University 4,912 64,964 13.23
13 Washington State University 2,473 32,544 13.16
14 University of Wisconsin 3,977 52,336 13.16
15 University of Missouri 2,497 30,756 12.32
16 Purdue University 2,673 32,600 12.2
17 INRA, France 6,199 75,164 12.13
18 Michigan State University 3,469 42,055 12.12
19 University of British Columbia 2,539 29,670 11.69
20 Iowa State University 2,682 31,115 11.6