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 Portfolio.

Nature Index metrics

The Nature Index uses Count and Share to track research output. A country/territory or an institution is given a Count of 1 for each article that has at least one author from that country/territory 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/territories or institutions.

To glean a country’s, territory’s or an institution’s contribution to an article, and to ensure that 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 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/territories, although complicated by the fact that some institutions have overseas labs that will be counted towards host country/territory 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’s/territory’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

The Nature Index 2021 Infectious disease supplement is based on both the Nature Index database and the Dimensions database from Digital Science, covering the Nature Index articles published between 2015 and 2020, and Dimensions articles from 2000 to 2020.

Eighty-three infectious diseases plus five subcategories (for coronavirus and influenza) are included in the supplement analysis by referring to the NSW health infectious-disease list. For each disease and subcategory, the Nature Index team curated a separate set of keywords, which was then used to search abstracts and titles to find all the articles 2000–20 concerning the disease (or subcategory) in the Dimensions database. The diseases and their Dimensions search strings can be found here. Nearly 1.7 million infectious-disease articles were extracted from the Dimensions database. The 9,816 extracted articles for 2015–20 that are also tracked in the Nature Index database formed the Nature Index data set for the supplement.

The tables in this supplement show the leading institutions overall and in different sectors in infectious disease, leading countries/territories as well as the infectious diseases that are most frequently the subject of articles in the Nature Index data set.