The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the leading Israeli institution of higher learning when measured by the number of citations of academic papers published by its faculty members, according to the ISI Web of Knowledge, a web-based service of the Thomson Corporation, which provides information and tools required to access, analyze and manage research information.
Such citations are a key indicator of the value placed by the academic community on the work of colleagues.
The ISI Web of Knowledge ranked universities from around the world on what is called essential science indicators over an 11-year period, from January 1, 1995 to January 2006. During that period, HU led all other Israeli universities in the number of citations of academic papers published by its staff, with a total of 242,888.
In specific academic specialties, the Hebrew University ranked either first or second in Israel in 17 of 20 categories listed. The nine categories in which the Hebrew University placed first are: chemistry; neuroscience and behavior; plant and animal science; microbiology; pharmacology and toxicology; geosciences; general social sciences; environment/ecology; and agricultural sciences.
On a world basis, the Hebrew University was in 109th place in citations among 3,328 higher educational and research institutions listed by the ISI Web of Knowledge. Other Israeli institutions were ranked as follows: Tel Aviv University, 114th place; the Weizmann Institute of Science, 123rd place; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 244th place; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 411th place; and Bar-Ilan University, 553rd place. Outstanding rankings by the Hebrew University on a world scale in particular academic fields were: mathematics, 35th place; agricultural sciences, 48th place; pharmacology and toxicology, 54th place; and chemistry, 61st place.
HU president Prof. Menachem Magidor said: "These latest findings on academic citations are a further proof, adding to other indicators, which document the Hebrew University's standing among the world's outstanding educational institutions."
The Times (of London) Higher Education Supplement recently ranked HU in 77th place on a chart showing the world's 200 best universities - far ahead of any other Israeli institution. These rankings are based on a scale of indicators that include academic peer reviews, citations of academic papers written by faculty members, staff to student ratios and a survey of global recruiters of graduates.
For the first time, the Council for Higher Education last year published new data which examined the academic research of institutes of higher education in Israel and converted it into a "scale of academic excellence."
On the basis of this material, HU scored highest in academic achievement, ranking above six other institutions of higher learning in Israel, based on factors of research grants obtained, the number of doctoral students, and the extent of scientific publications. In 2003, the American magazine, The Scientist, ranked HU sixth among the world's universities outside of the US, in a survey of "the best place to work in scientific institutions." The university was the only Israeli institution rated in that elite group.