Nature Index names Tufts among most influential, innovative institutions in the world

Tufts University is among the top institutions in the world for influencing innovation.

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Aug. 9, 2017) – Tufts University is among the top institutions in the world for influencing innovation, according to an analysis published today as a supplement to Nature, a leading science journal.

Tufts placed 11th in the Nature Index 2017 Innovation ranking, which assesses the impact academic research is having on innovation by examining how research articles are cited in third party patents. Tufts, whose published work is having a disproportionately high impact relative to the university’s size,  was joined at the top of the list by institutions with global reputations for high-quality research, such as Scripps Research Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and National Institutes of Health.

"Our ranking among the most influential universities reflects our long-standing commitment to creating innovative approaches to local and global challenges. We are proud of the positive impact that our faculty, students and staff make on the world, and we’re pleased their many contributions are recognized in this study,” said Provost David Harris.  

The Index takes 200 high-performing institutions that appear in the top 100 of at least one of a selection of institutional rankings and then tracks the author affiliations of research articles published in a group of 68 high-quality natural science journals that have been selected by independent panels of active scientists. The Index measures each institution’s citations of research articles in patents owned by third parties.

By looking at third party patents -- informed by and citing academic work – rather than those held by institutions themselves, the analysis highlights the influence of research on the development of products and services, according to creators of the Index.

“This analysis comes at a time when following the transfer of scientific knowledge into industry and the economy is a growing priority for governments and research funding agencies – for them, the need to demonstrate that publicly funded science is being used for society’s benefit is paramount,” said David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index.

More information about the Nature Index is available at


About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

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