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Nature Index unveils first global science city ranking, Beijing is the top science city globally

The Nature Index 2018 Science Cities supplement, published in Nature, includes the first Nature Index global science city ranking. The ranking confirms dominance of China and the United States in research output. Beijing is the top science city globally, followed by New York, Boston, San Francisco and Baltimore.

Besides Beijing, nine other cities in China rank amongst the top 50 cities globally, as measured by the Nature Index, which tracks the authorship of articles in 82 high-quality research journals. The US accounts for 19 of the top 50 cities. Tokyo (6th) and Paris (8th) are the only cities in the global top 10 that are outside the US and China.

The supplement profiles five science cities that are leaders in their regions, namely, Cape Town, San Francisco, Munich, Wuhan and São Paulo. It explores the challenges these cities face in continuing to attract and retain academics, collaborate, and publish outstanding science. For instance, San Francisco's soaring housing costs could undermine its position as a leading region of innovation; Wuhan is under pressure from the intensified competition for research talent in China.

The supplement also shows that the top collaborating cities in the Nature Index are typically located in the same country. Beijing and New York are the only city pair in the top 25 from different countries. Beijing's major collaborating cities within China are Shanghai, Nanjing and Wuhan. Other major international cities that Beijing collaborates with in research are San Francisco and Boston.

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