UMass Medical School ranks fourth for research cited in patents

Nature Index points industry to institutions providing ideas behind inventions

UMass Medical School Communications

August 09, 2017
  According the Nature Index, UMass Medical School is among the most influential research institutions based on citations by third party patent holders.

According to an analysis published in Nature Index, UMass Medical School is among the most influential research institutions based on citations by third party patent holders. The analysis is intended to map the "influence and role of academic science in the innovation ecosystem." 

UMass Medical School is fourth among the top 100 research institutions for the number of research articles cited in third party patents, according to the Nature Index 2017 Innovation supplement. The rankings shed light on the impact of academic research by tabulating citations of research articles in patents owned by third parties.

Addtionally, 76.6 percent of all UMMS natural science articles appear in the Nature Index, according to the analysis. The ranking measures investigators’ publications in a selection of high-quality journals, relative to the institution’s overall research capacity; looking at patents owned by third parties that cite academic work, rather than those held by institutions is a measure of the influence of research on the development of products and services.

“This analysis comes at a time when 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. “This innovation supplement is part of a wider effort to examine new trends in research publishing and its interface with sectors outside of academia.”

The “Normalized Lens Influence Metric” used for the rankings provides a measure of the influence an institution’s research has on innovation; the metric has been derived for 200 high performing institutions that appear in the top 100 of at least one of the institutional rankings from Nature Index, Academic Ranking of World Universities, Thomson Innovation and the Leiden Ranking.

“By linking published research with patents as an open global public good, we can start mapping the influence and role of academic science in the innovation ecosystem. This is a first step towards ‘innovation cartography’—rendering the complex process of science and technology-enabled problem solving transparent,” said Richard Jefferson, founder of “It will enable scientists, investors, businesses and policy makers to make better, evidence-based choices of partnerships and pathways to deliver new products, services and practices for society.”

Nature Index 2017 Innovation is published as a supplement to the August10 issue of Nature. Learn more at their FAQ page.

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