Carolina ranks highest among US universities in coronavirus research 

The Microsoft Academic world ranking places the University at No. 8, behind only the CDC and the NIH in the U.S. 

This shot of the Bell Tower in spring, taken March 25, shows how empty campus has become since COVIDS-19. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)
(Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Carolina is the highest ranked U.S. university in the world for coronavirus research, according to a Microsoft Academic rating system based on how often other researchers cited articles written by the University’s faculty members.

The University ranks No. 8 in saliency, surpassed in the U.S. only by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (No. 2) and the National Institutes of Health (No. 5). The top worldwide institution is the University of Hong Kong.

In the same ranking system, Carolina is No. 4 in the number of citations of its research and No. 6 in the number of publications.

The “saliency” ranking is particularly relevant because it goes beyond the mere accounting of citations, according to the Microsoft Academic website. Saliency “imposes weighting on each citation based on the factors of the citing sources, including the reputation and the age of each citation.”

Microsoft Academic is a free public web search engine for academic publications and literature, developed by Microsoft Research. Information on the website is based on the Microsoft Academic Graph data set, which contains over 233 million publications and their related academic entities. Microsoft Research uses its partner web browser Bing to discover research content from around the world and then applies artificial intelligence to filter and analyze the data.