McMaster excels in scientific research, report says


McMaster emerged a leader in a recent study that assessed scientific research performance at Canadian universities in the natural, engineering and biomedical sciences.

In the engineering & technology category, McMaster ranked second, just behind the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), a Montreal-based graduate research institute.

The University ranked third in the mathematics category and tied for third with McGill in the area of biomedical research.

These specific rankings were associated with the “relative weighed impact factor,” an indicator of the quality of professors' published papers.

The rankings were done by the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies (OST), a Montreal-based group that is funded by government agencies and universities, including McMaster.

The report is available at

Mamdouh Shoukri, dean of engineering, is particularly pleased with his faculty's showing.
He noted that the INRS, which scored ahead of McMaster in the engineering category, is mainly a graduate research organization so the faculty do not have the added responsibility of undergraduate teaching.

“We have the top engineering research school in Canada and we have been like that for many years,” he said.
“The biggest challenge as we undergo massive change, with expansion and renewal, is the pressure that is put on us that recruits have the potential to keep us at the top. It's a challenge. We're up to the challenge. We hope that the ongoing projects and plans for the future improvements will enable us to maintain this position.”

The 2000 edition of the Canadian Universities' Performance in Research compares the research performance of universities that produced, for “statistical significance,” more than 100 publications in 1998.
This is the group's second report dedicated to monitoring trends in scientific research. Its first report examined 1995 research.

The agency used three criteria when assessing a university's research performance:

  • the number of publications per professor
  • the relative weighed impact factor, an indicator that measures the number of citations a journal receives during a given time period, and
  • the rate of international collaboration.