Programming glitch leaves Cambridge, MA off scientific map

A new method for evaluating top scientific cities based on publication rate has recently been proposed. The paper by Lutz Bornmann at the Max Planck Society in Munich and Loet Leydesdorff at the University of Amsterdam is entitled:

Which cities produce excellent papers worldwide more than can be expected? A new mapping approach–using Google Maps–based on statistical significance testing

As explained on The Physics arXiv Blog the method reveals cities where highly-cited papers were published by taking the total number of papers cited by researchers from a particular city and then count how many of these appear in the top ten per cent of cited papers.

Right out of the gate, the method revealed a surprising finding that Cambridge, MA, home of MIT and Harvard University did not appear on the list of top cities. However, a review of the program uncovered a mistake in the coding which accidentally failed to distinguish between Cambridge UK and Cambridge MA. Since it has been corrected, Cambridge MA is now marked with a bold green spot on the map and can reclaim its rightful spot as a world-class scientific city.

So far the map has only been created for the disciplines of physics, chemistry and psychology. I eagerly await the launch of a biology map and will be glad to share the results with you when they become available.

To see the physics map click here.

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