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Smaller South African universities shine in 2020 Nature Index

Durban University of Technology leapfrogs well-known institutions in publications-based list

South Africa’s small universities punch above their weight in the 2020 Nature Index, which tracks research institutions’ publications in prestigious journals. However, no African institution makes the Top 500.

The index, released on 30 April, covers data for the 2019 calendar year. It gauges institutions’ performance by how well-represented they are in journals voted by researchers as the most desirable ones in their fields. It counts the absolute number of articles an institution contributed to (the article count, or AC) as well as the fractional contribution to papers based on how many of the authors come from the institution (the fractional count, or FC).

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