Australia: The numbers

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High-quality papers

Australian universities have had more physical sciences articles included in the index between 2012 and 2015 than papers in any other field.

Research funding

Australia's top universities were awarded the most money from competitive funding programs between 2011 and 2014.

Investing in science

Australia's top research institutions in the index, excluding CSIRO, are ranked by their contribution to subject areas (grey bars) between 2012 and 2015. Dividing a university's contribution to the index by the amount of research funding it received between 2011 and 2014 indicates, in normalized terms, how it has translated funding into output in the index's high-quality journals (orange bars). The contribution of institutions to journals in the index can be measured by fractional count (FC) or weighted fractional count (WFC). WFC accounts for the large number of astronomy articles in the index, and is used when referring to physical sciences output. It is also a fairer measure of an institution’s total contribution to high-quality science (see Total output).

The fine print

Funding data refers to competitive grants, predominantly awarded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) or the Australian Research Council (ARC). Funding data from several smaller medical research charities is also included in the life sciences section. Funding data was obtained by Digital Science’ ÜberResearch (see page S77), classified by ‘Field of Research’. FoR categories were grouped into the four broad fields in the index. While FoRs align with index fields, a portion of the funding will have been used to fund research published in journals not included in the index. Nevertheless, the above charts give an indication of how effective funding has been in supporting the high-quality research in journals included in the index.

Total output

The total output and subject contributions of Australian universities to the index, by WFC, over four years between 2012 and 2015.


The Nature Index database tracks the affiliations of high-quality natural science articles, and charts publication productivity for institutions and countries. Article count (AC) includes the total number of affiliated articles. Weighted fractional count (WFC) accounts for the relative contribution of each author to an article, and adjusts for the abundance of astronomy and astrophysics papers. More details here.

Additional data