The University of Melbourne has held top spot in Australia for the third consecutive year in the world-leading science journal Nature’s latest rankings.

The “Nature Publishing Index 2013” charts the number of articles published in Nature’s cohort of branded journals across a given year.

The latest results also placed the University eighth overall in the Asia-Pacific region, and is the region's top contributor to the journal Nature Immunology.

Australia overall increased its contribution to Nature journals by more than 50% in 2013.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor James McCluskey welcomed the news and said the outcome was particularly pleasing given the continuing rise of science and life-sciences research in the Asia-Pacific region.

The core Nature journals tend to publish very strong research, often of general significance across and within disciplines. They are a barometer of research excellence.

"Melbourne researchers published several notable papers in 2013, across the range of Nature publications," Professor McCluskey said. "Melbourne earned approximately three quarters of its total papers in life sciences. 

“Research excellence is our priority. I congratulate all researchers who are at the core of our vast research endeavours and on the outstanding result in the Nature Publishing Index."

The University’s 2013 Nature publications included:

  • a Nature Genetics paper by leading paediatric neurologist and researcher Professor Ingrid Scheffer who revealed two new genes associated with severe childhood epilepsies
  • Dr Linda Wakim and her colleagues in the Laboratory of Professor Jose Villadangos from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, came closer to understanding why some people fight infections better than others during influenza season.

Nature is a weekly international journal publishing peer-reviewed research in science and technology. It is the world's most highly cited interdisciplinary science journal, according to the 2010 Journal Citation Reports Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011).