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IBS rose to be a new player to watch in Nature Index 2016 Rising Star

IBS is accelerating its pace and entering the league of science heavyweights

Institute for Basic Science


IMAGE: A team at the IBS Center for Nanomedicine are developing nanomaterials for disease diagnosis and treatment. view more

Credit: IBS

The Institute for Basic Science has set itself apart from other performers with its rapidly gaining clout in the research world according to the Nature Index 2016 Rising Star supplement, published on July 28. It has also listed IBS on the roster of the world's 25 emergent players to watch.

The supplement presents a list of the top 100 most improved institutions in the index between 2012 and 2015, which are ranked by the increase in their contribution to 68 high-quality journals. It taps into the power of the Nature Index*, which tracks the research of more than 8,000 global institutions.

With the meteoric rise of its contribution to top notch journals by over 4,000% in four years, IBS placed the 11th place on the list of the top 100. Since 2012 IBS' contribution to the 68 journals included in the index, a metric known as weighted fractional count (WFC**), has skyrocketed from 1.04 to 50.31, a more than 4000% increase. In 2015, IBS scientists were authors on 189 papers, which were included in the index.

IBS was also featured as a major new player to watch in the editor's preface. Noticeably, no other Korean research institution or university was ranked higher than IBS. The supplement also consolidated IBS' growing presence in Asia since it is the only non-Chinese institution in Asia's top 10, which is mostly dominated by Chinese institutions.

From the top 100, the supplement profiles 25 rising stars that are already making their mark, and have the potential to shine in the coming decades. David Swinbanks, Founder of the Nature Index, said: "With four years of data already behind it, the Nature Index is an increasingly powerful tool to assess research performance. By identifying these rising stars, we're given an insight into which new emerging institutions are likely to play a role in addressing some of the globe's most pressing challenges. Providing researchers and institutions with this data, through the index's freely accessible website, is another example of how Nature Research is working to meet the scientific community's needs."

Nature highlighted IBS as an integral element of Korea's transition toward a creative knowledge economy. Established as Korea's equivalent of Japan's RIKEN and Germany's Max Planck Institute, IBS is, Nature says, now expanding to incorporate 50 centers by 2021.

The journal describes that time is ripe for IBS to initiate a paradigm shift as a leader in basic science. With its diverse research themes ranging from dark matter to gene editing to graphene to nanomedicine, as well as a conducive research environment with generous funding, Nature stressed that Korea bets on IBS and basic science to make a breakthrough in its sluggish economy and to deliver on its dream of a scientific Nobel Prize.

Among the world's 25 ascendant performers are the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) - a key part of Saudi Arabia's strategy to reduce its dependence on oil and develop a knowledge-led economy; and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, which takes the final place in the top 20 as a result of its strength in chemistry and recent investment in sustainability and environmental research.

IBS President Doochul Kim said, "The strong performance of IBS in the Nature Index 2016 Rising Star is recognition that the research done here has global relevance and is playing a key role in the country's transformation with focuses on the basic sciences. "


More information about the Nature Index is available on the FAQ page at

*About the Nature Index

First launched in November 2014, the Nature Index database tracks the author affiliations of research articles published in a group of 68 high-quality natural science journals, which have been selected by independent panels of active scientists. Responses from over 2,800 individuals to a large scale survey were used to validate the selections. Springer Nature estimates that these 68 journals account for nearly 30% of total citations to natural science journals.

**The Nature Index uses three counts of article output:

* Article count (AC) - A country or institution is given an AC of 1 for each article that has at least one author from that country or institution. This is the case whether an article has one or a hundred authors, and it means that the same article can contribute to the AC of multiple countries or institutions.

* Fractional Count (FC) - FC takes into account the relative contribution of each author to an article. The maximum FC per paper is 1, and this is shared between all authors under the assumption that each contributed equally. For instance, each author on a paper with 10 authors would receive a FC of 0.1.

* Weighted Fractional Count (WFC) - applies a weighting to FC to adjust for an overrepresentation of papers from astronomy and astrophysics. The four journals in these disciplines publish about 50% of all papers in international journals in this field -- approximately five times the equivalent figures for other fields. Therefore, although the data for astronomy and astrophysics are compiled in exactly the same way as for all other disciplines, articles from these journals are assigned one-fifth the weight of other articles.

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