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The University of Southampton

Oceanography at Southampton ranked number one in the world

Published: 25 November 2009

The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), home of the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science, has been ranked in the top ten of the world’s research institutions in geoscience, and first among those with a specific remit in oceanography.

The ranking, published in the latest issue of the Times Higher Education, reveals “‘heavy hitters’ based on paper influence, not mere output.”

Geoscience encompasses all of those separate scientific disciplines such as oceanography, geology, geophysics, climatology and geochemistry dealing with the Earth system.

The ranking is based on the impact of peer-reviewed papers published by scientists in terms of how often they are cited. The data included a total of 576 original research reports and review articles published by University and NOCS scientists between January 1999 and June 2009. These papers accumulated between them 11,627 citations – an average of 20.19 citations per paper.

NOCS came ninth out of 43,500 institutions surveyed, putting it comfortably in the top 0.05 per cent for geosciences generally.

In welcoming the results of the analysis, Director of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Professor Ed Hill, said:

“I am proud and delighted by these results, which rank the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton as the world’s number one oceanographic institution. I would like to congratulate my colleagues on this outstanding achievement.

“I believe our success stems from three aspects of our strategy: our commitment to recruiting and nurturing outstanding early and mid-career researchers who can make their name at Southampton alongside more established researchers; our focus on working on the most important and relevant scientific challenges of our generation; and the vibrant research environment provided by our uniquely broad mission, which enables University of Southampton and Natural Environment Research Council researchers to work together and collaborate internationally, supported by excellent facilities.

“If it wasn’t obvious before, this analysis demonstrates that Southampton really is the place to be!”

Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton went on to say:

“This result confirms our status as the world's leading institution devoted to research, teaching and technology development in ocean and earth science.

“It confirms Southampton’s position as a world leading centre in the Maritime knowledge economy.”

For more information, see the Times Higher Education issue of 19 November 2009.


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