University edges world top 50 for research in global top journals

The impact on the world of research conducted at the University of Aberdeen has been confirmed in the latest international rankings of research-intensive universities.

Aberdeen is ranked top Scottish university at 55th in the world for the proportion of research appearing in the top 10% of international journals.

The Leiden Ranking measures the scientific performance of 750 major universities worldwide. The ranking is based on over 25 years of bibliometric experience at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Direct comparison within individual research disciplines between 2014 and 2015 is not possible because of changes in groupings, however the overall ranking of 55th is a jump of 24 places over the last year.

In addition, the overall proportion of Aberdeen research in high-impact journals which has at least one international co-author currently stands at 70.6%, placing us 6th in the world and 3rd in both Europe and the UK when adjusted for size.

At subject level, for presence in international collaborative publications the University of Aberdeen is:


  • 9th in the world and 5th in Europe for international collaboration in Biomedical and Health Sciences
  • 8th  in the world and 5th  in Europe in Life and Earth Sciences
  • 7th in the world and  5th in Europe in Physical Sciences and Engineering
  • 14th in the world and 7th in Europe Mathematical and Computing Sciences
  • 18th in the world and 13th in Europe in Humanities and Social Sciences.


Professor Phil Hannaford, Vice-Principal of Research and Knowledge Exchange, welcomed the Leiden assessment, saying:  “This is very encouraging evidence of how my colleagues here at Aberdeen are operating on the world stage, and I congratulate everyone who has contributed to this success. Impact achieved through publication in the world’s most esteemed academic journals is a further indication of the growing research strength at Aberdeen, and complements our assessment in the Research Excellence Framework published at Christmas. In  relation to non-academic impact, 85% of our research was judged to be ‘world class’ or ‘internationally excellent’  “ 


See more detail on the University of Aberdeen Leiden Ranking