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Top Notch

blog_SlugUCSC Ranks 18th in World in Survey for Geosciences
A November 2009 survey named the University of California, Santa Cruz, as one of the top 20 geosciences institutions in the world.
The British magazine Times Higher Education (THE) conducted the survey using data provided by Thomas Reuters from its Essential Science Indicators. The analysis looked at peer-reviewed journal articles from January 1999 through June 2009, assessing rankings based on the number of citations per paper to ensure that the rankings indicate impact, not just output.

A total of 43,500 institutions were surveyed. Of the top 1 percent of these, 104 institutions collected at least 10,000 citations. The Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research tops the list, followed by Harvard University. UCSC comes in at number 18 with 889 papers and 16,666 citations, giving it 18.75 citations per paper. The only other UC to make the list is the University of California, Santa Barbara, coming in at number 10. Of the top 20, US institutions account for 14, while the other six are European.

At UCSC, “geosciences” includes both the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and the Department of Ocean Sciences. Paul Koch, chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was pleased that UCSC's influence was recognized, although he already knew that the department was doing a good job.

“I know that we’re a good program,” Koch says. “If you look at us pound for pound we always do well... But it’s good to see. You never know if it’s really true. We think it’s true, but it’s good to have someone do a quantitative assessment. This says that when we write papers, people read them.”

Koch also says that he hopes the community will take notice. “I hope the community is aware that these are strong programs, Earth Science and Ocean Science,” he says. “I’m not sure it’s always obvious.”
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