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Press release

  • 22 May 2006

Sussex tops citations league in physics and space science

The University of Sussex takes two top spots in a new ranking of UK universities based on the impact and influence of academic papers published in journals.

The latest issue of Science Watch, published by Thomson Scientific, puts Sussex top in both physics and space science for having the highest average number of citations (published references) for academic research.

The Sussex scientists in these disciplines produced 532 papers in a four-year period (2001-2005), achieving an average of 12.05 citations per paper.

Professor Peter Thomas, head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, says: "We have a small department at Sussex, but we carry out fundamental research that has a very substantial impact in its area. This survey tells us that many of these papers are regarded by other scientists as being highly important."

Physics publications include research in atomic, molecular and optical physics, as well as investigations of fundamental particles such as neutrons and neutrinos, and theoretical studies that underpin the links between particle physics and cosmology.

Space science includes astrophysics and cosmology, areas in which Sussex has an established reputation with research focused on understanding the large-scale properties of the Universe, and on the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Professor Andrew Liddle, director of the Astronomy Centre, says: "I'm delighted to see our work get such recognition, and it's remarkable that the separate components of the Physics and Astronomy Department have each come first in their categories."

Science Watch rankings are derived from Thomson Scientific's United Kingdom University Indicators, a database containing publication and citation statistics on upwards of 150 universities and affiliated institutions in more than 20 main scientific fields.

Notes for editors

For more information, contact Jacqui Bealing or Alison Field in the Press Office on 01273 678888, email:

Thomson Scientific Ranks UK research:


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