The UPF is the Spanish leader in quality of its scientific production

CYD Report 2011Experts from the CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies and from the SCImago group have prepared, for the Knowledge and Development Foundation, the CyD Report 2011, in which they assessed the scientific production of the public and private higher education institutions in Spain in the period 2006-2010.

The Pompeu Fabra University comes in first place, ahead of the University of Barcelona, in relation to the quality of its scientific productivity and in second place, behind the University of Barcelona, concerning the visibility of the production in the journals with the most international prestige. The UB is the university with the highest number of scientific publications, over 13,000, in Spain.

The data used to prepare this ranking come from the bibliometric records included in Elsevier’s Scopus database, which contains the bibliographic references of almost 20,000 scientific journals from all spheres of knowledge published since 1996.

Number and quality of scientific publications

The report analyses the number of scientific publications of the Spanish higher education institutions in the section "Scientific production and impact: general and by area ranking of the Spanish university institutions (2006-2010)", based on three essential dimensions: the volume of all the scientific production (publications), the quality of the production using impact or author citation indicators and the percentage of studies published in journals classified by their impact level, in the first quartile of their category, that is to say the journals with the most prestige.

In relation to the general ranking of universities, when the quality of the research results is analysed, based on a standardised index of citations, that is to say the impact of the publications and the number of citations or number of times that their authors are cited, the Pompeu Fabra University moves into top place in the ranking, beating the University of Barcelona which comes immediately afterwards in second place. The third institution in the standardised index of citations is the Rovira i Virgili University, and these positions remain unchanged in relation to the previous CyD report in 2010.

However, as concerns the volume of scientific production, with over 13,000 documents, the universities of Barcelona, Autonomous of Barcelona and Complutense of Madrid, in this order, are the leaders of the ranking.

Extract from Table 1 of the
CyD Report 2011
total scientific production of Spanish universities (2006-2010)



Ranking by volume of production

Standardised impact

Ranking by standardised impact

% of publications in first quartile journals (Q1)

Ranking by % of publications in Q1 journals

Pompeu Fabra University







University of Barcelona







Rovira i Virgili University







Second place in visibility of scientific production

Another indicator which reflects the visibility of the scientific production is the percentage of publications that the institutions have published in first quartile journals, that is to say those with the most prestige. From this perspective, the following stand out with a score of above 60%: the University of Barcelona, followed by the Pompeu Fabra University, in second place, and the University of Córdoba, in third place.

The comparison of the universities was carried out paying attention to the results from the following scientific areas: Decision Sciences, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Energy Sciences, Immunology and Microbiology, Mathematics and Psychology.

The UPF, the institution with the most impact, and the CRG, among the world’s best organisations

A second part of the report analyses the impact of scientific productivity in "Spanish scientific production in the international context and the position of its research institutions in the worldwide ranking (2006-2010)". Its aim is to present the main scientific production indicators in Spain, both as regards quantity and quality and visibility, in the international context (ARWU, THE, QS rankings, etc.).

In this respect, the report shows that the UPF is the Spanish higher education centre with the greatest international impact (in 752nd place in the world) and the CRG-Centre for Genomic Regulation, a centre in which the UPF has a stake, is the organisation in the best position – 24th in the world – as regards the quality and visibility of the studies published in the journals with the most international prestige (87.90%).

This section moreover presents data on the relative specialisation of the Spanish centres in certain spheres of knowledge, on scientific production by autonomous community and the position of the most important Spanish research institutions in the worldwide ranking of research institutions.