Nature Index 2019: ICMAB, CSIC and Spain

  • The new Nature Index 2019 is out, and the data confirm the expected: ICMAB is the first CSIC center in research outputs per capita in the ranking, and the second in terms of research outputs.
  • CSIC is the first research institute in Spain, and is ranked the 54th research institution worldwide, and the 4th government institution, in terms of research outputs. 

The Nature Index 2019 Annual Tables highlights the institutions and countries which dominated research in the natural sciences in 2018. This supplement features not only the Nature Index Global Top 100 institutions across all sectors but also the top 10 institutions for top-quality research output by subject, in life sciences, chemistry, the physical sciences and Earth and environmental sciences. Also included is a normalized ranking derived by considering an institution's top quality output as a proportion of its total output in the natural sciences.

Nature Index 2019: ICMAB, CSIC and Spain

The Nature Index database is an indicator to value the impact of the research outputs, and compare it to other research institutes of the world and within the CSIC. The Nature Index tracks the author affiliations collected fom high quality scientific articles published in 82 high-quality science journals independently selected by a panel of active scientists. 

In the recently updated Nature Index 2019, based on published research articles from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018ICMAB occupies the first position within the CSIC centers, in terms of research outputs per capita (per number of researchers). The second position among the CSIC centers is for the ICMM (Institute of Materials Science in Madrid), highlighting the high-quality of Materials Science research in Spain. Without normalizing the research outputs per number of researchers, the ICMAB occupies the second place, after the ICMM. 

CSIC is ranked the 54th position worldwide in the period January-December 2018, taking into account all type of scientific institutions. However, it is the 4th worldwide when counting only the government institutions.

In Spain, CSIC is the first research institute, followed by the BIST and the UB. The UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona) occupies the 9th position in the ranking. Spain occupies the 11th position in the global ranking of the countries.

  1. Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
  2. Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST)
  3. University of Barcelona (UB)
  4. Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM)
  5. University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
  6. University of Valencia (UV)
  7. Complutense University of Madrid (UCM)
  8. University of Santiago de Compostela (USC)
  9. Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
  10. University of Granada (UGR)

Top 10 collaborators of Spain

A new feature of this year's Nature Index 2018 is the "Connected World" item, which shows the collaboration of the countries with the others, in terms of research outputs. For Spain, the top 10 collaborators are: 

  1. United States of America (USA) 
  2. Germany 
  3. United Kingdom (UK) 
  4. France
  5. Italy 
  6. Switzerland
  7. China 
  8. Netherlands 
  9. Japan 
  10. Portugal 

connected spain

Top ICMAB articles according to the Altmetric Attention Score

The Altmetric Attention Score is an automatically calculated, weighted count of all of the attention a research output has received. It is based on 3 main factors: volume, source, authors. Combined, the attention score represents a weighted approximation of all the attention for a research output (not a raw total of the number of mentions) in the press, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc. You can find more detail about how it’s calculated, including the standard weightings for each mention type, here

The attention score is useful when looking at several outputs together to quickly identify the level of online activity surrounding a particular research output – it is not a measure of the quality of the research, or the researcher.

The top articles by Altmetric score from ICMAB-CSIC in the year 2018 are the following: 

Article has an altmetric score of 73Hydroxypropyl cellulose photonic architectures by soft nanoimprinting lithography

Nature Photonics 2018-04-09
Press release: Iridescent photonic cellulose, mimicking the structural color of insects, with optical applications

Article has an altmetric score of 55Minimalist Prion-Inspired Polar Self-Assembling Peptides

ACS Nano 2018-06-26
Press release: Minimalist Biostructures Designed to Create Nanomaterials

Article has an altmetric score of 44Stability and nature of the volume collapse of ε-FeO under extreme conditions

Nature Communications 2018-11-01
Press release: A new iron oxide polymorph found at high pressures

Article has an altmetric score of 34An Unprecedented Stimuli-Controlled Single-Crystal Reversible Phase Transition of a Metal-Organic Framework and Its Application to a Novel Method of Guest Encapsulation

Advanced Materials 2018-07-01
                         Press release: ICMAB researchers develop flexible materials that switch from nano-porous 3D to 2D structures in a reversible way

Article has an altmetric score of 23Giant topological Hall effect in correlated oxide thin films

Nature Physics 2018-10-15
Press release: ICMAB researchers collaborate in a study published in Nature Physics about a "Giant topological Hall Effect"


The Nature Index is a database of author affiliation information collated from research articles published in an independently selected group of 82 high-quality science journals. The database is compiled by Nature Research. The Nature Index provides a close to real-time proxy of high-quality research output and collaboration at the institutional, national and regional level. The Nature Index is updated monthly, and a 12-month rolling window (1 August 2017 - 31 July 2018) of data is openly available at under a Creative Commons non-commercial license. 

Article output is counted in two ways: Article count (AC): where a count of one is assigned to an institution or country if one or more authors of the research article are from that institution or country, regardless of how many co-authors there are from outside that institution or country; Fractional count (FC): that takes into account the percentage of authors from that institution (or country) and the number of affiliated institutions per article. For calculation of the FC, all authors are considered to have contributed equally to the article. The maximum combined FC for any article is 1.0. The ratio of AC to FC gives an indication of the degree to which an institution or country collaborates in its research. Broadly speaking, if the AC is a lot higher than the FC it indicates a high degree of external collaboration and dependency on external resources. If the AC is close in value to the FC it indicates limited collaboration with external researchers and a strong dependency on internal resources.



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