Todai leads nation with influential papers

TOKYO - The University of Tokyo has issued more influential scientific papers than any other domestic institution, according to US research.

The ranking, announced Tuesday by US-based academic information research firm Thomson Reuters, was based on how often papers from an institution were cited by others - a barometer of their studies' global influence.

The Japan Science and Technology Agency was second, followed by Kyoto University and Osaka University. RIKEN, which has been making headlines over the questionable accuracy of articles on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells, ranked fifth.

Thomson Reuters examined scientific papers published from January 2003 to October 2013, categorizing them by year of release and field of study, and counting the number of "highly influential papers" that were frequently cited in other researchers' papers.

In general, the more important a scientific paper's subject is, the more frequently it is cited in other researchers' papers. Research institutions that have published many influential papers are seen as highly competitive in their fields of study.

Thomson Reuters releases global rankings of this kind annually. However, it has changed its methods of data collection this year, making it impossible to directly compare the most recent findings with data from previous years.

As a result, the company decided to release rankings only within different nations.