The Nature Index is a database of author affiliations and institutional relationships. The index tracks contributions to research articles published in 82 high-quality natural-science journals, chosen by an independent group of researchers.

The Nature Index provides absolute and fractional counts of article publication at the institutional and national level and, as such, is an indicator of global high-quality research output and collaboration. Data in the Nature Index are updated regularly, with the most recent 12 months made available under a Creative Commons licence at The database is compiled by Nature Research.

Nature Index metrics

The Nature Index uses Count and Share to track research output. A country/region or an institution is given a Count of 1 for each article that has at least one author from that country/region or institution. This is the case regardless of the number of authors an article has, and it means that the same article can contribute to the Count of multiple countries/regions or institutions.

To glean a country’s, a region’s or an institution’s contribution to an article, and to ensure they are not counted more than once, the Nature Index uses Share, a fractional count that takes into account the share of authorship on each article. The total Share available per article is 1, which is shared among all authors under the assumption that each contributed equally. For instance, an article with 10 authors means that each author receives a Share of 0.1. For authors who are affiliated with more than one institution, the author’s Share is then split equally between each institution. The total Share for an institution is calculated by summing the Share for individual affiliated authors. The process is similar for countries/regions, although complicated by the fact that some institutions have overseas labs that will be counted towards host country/region totals.

NATUREINDEX.COM users can search for specific institutions or countries and generate their own reports, ordered by Count or Share.

Each query will return a profile page that lists the country or institution’s recent outputs, from which it is possible to drill down for more information. Articles can be displayed by journal, and then by article. Research outputs are organized by subject area. The pages list the institution or country/region’s top collaborators, as well as its relationship with other organizations. Users can track an institution’s performance over time, create their own indexes and export table data.

This supplement

Nature Index 2020 Cancer is based on the Nature Index database, covering articles published during the period from 1 January 2015 to 31 August 2019. The data are drawn from a subset of 57 journals in the Nature Index that excludes journals in areas unrelated to cancer research. The 57 journals were searched via the Dimensions from Digital Science database to extract cancer-research articles, using both keyword and fields of research searches, and then cross-checked with the Nature Index database to isolate only primary research articles. Note that the Nature Index does not include clinical sciences journals.

The table in this supplement shows the top 50 institutions in cancer research ranked by their article share (Share) in the topic from 1 January 2015 to 31 August 2019. Also listed are each institution's number of cancer-research articles (Count) over the same period and percentage of internationally collaborative articles (International articles %).

For this analysis, joint institutions with more than one parent, such as the Broad Institute under Harvard and MIT, were treated as separate entities, making visible the strength of some such joint institutions in cancer research instead of it being subsumed within the parent institutions’ output. Note this differs from standard practice for Nature Index where such joints are incorporated into the output of their parents.

Where credited as such, data used in this supplement were sourced from Dimensions, an inter-linked research-information system provided by Digital Science.