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JCU 'the big improver' says Nature

JCU has been described as the

James Cook University has been described as ‘the big improver’ by the influential Nature Publishing Group.

Releasing its Nature Publishing Index 2012 for the Asia-Pacific, the organisation ranked James Cook University as number five in Australia.

“James Cook University – the big improver – up to fifth from 58th in Australia in 2009 and tenth last year,” the group’s statement said.

It was also noted that JCU continues to be the fast improver in the Asia-Pacific, up at 30th from 351st in the region in 2008.

“JCU published several articles on the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, contributing significantly to Australia’s earth and environmental sciences publication output.”

The Index measures the output of research articles from nations and institutes published in the 18 Nature-branded primary research journals over the calendar year to provide a snapshot of research in the Asia-Pacific in 2012.

JCU’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding, said that to have one of the most prestigious scientific and research publications rank the University so highly was testimony to the quality of the research being undertaken.

“I want to congratulate those members of the JCU community whose hard work is behind our position on the Index,” she said. “We have always been a research-intensive University with a particular bias towards the tropics and in recent years we have deliberately sought out distinguished researchers and teachers to further boost our output.

“The substantial improvement on the Nature Index over the years shows not only that our strategy is bearing fruit but also that world-ranked research is not confined to the sandstone universities in capital cities.

“We are a proud regional university with a clear mission to be Australia’s university of the tropics, and one of the top such institutions in the world,” Professor Harding said.

The publishing group said that according to the Index Australia was third in the Asia-Pacific for overall research, and top in earth and environmental sciences.

Issued: March 21, 2013

JCU Media: Jim O’Brien 07 4781 4822 or 0418 892449