NAU gets high marks in research citations from World University Rankings

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The World University Rankings recently put Northern Arizona University in the top 10 percent worldwide for the frequency of NAU’s research being cited by other researchers.

NAU earned a score of 91.6 out of 100 for citations, compared to the average U.S. score of 42.4. The score recognizes the university’s role in spreading new knowledge and ideas. According to methodology from Times Higher Education (THE), which publishes the rankings, the citations category measures the influence of a university’s body of research by looking at the number of times scholars cite published work from that university.

“The citations help to show us how much each university is contributing to the sum of human knowledge: they tell us whose research has stood out, has been picked up and built on by other scholars and, most importantly, has been shared around the global scholarly community to expand the boundaries of our understanding, irrespective of discipline,” the ranking website reads.

Diane Stearns, associate vice president for research, said NAU continues to increase its research footprint. In addition to this ranking, the university has consistently moved up in the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) rankings every year, with the most recent ranking of No. 219 out of 640 institutions.

The high number of citations measures how productive NAU’s researchers are, she said, and indicates the prestige of the journals in which they are published. She attributed the increasing recognition to President Rita Cheng’s investment in research-active faculty and research infrastructure.

“NAU has a high worldwide reputation in several fields, most notably for our genomics and genetics research, led by Paul Keim and his team in the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute, and our ecology research, led by Bruce Hungate and his team in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society,” Stearns said. “Our scholars in the Linguistics programs also have world-class reputations and high citation rates.”

NAU Communications