A look at the Research and Innovation Performance of Malaysian Universities 2013 – 2017

Clarivate Analytics and Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM), Malaysia’s Ministry of Education (MOE), have jointly produced a research and innovation landscape report that describes Malaysia’s research and innovation output for the period 2013 – 2017.

Powered by Clarivate Analytics Web of Science and  Derwent Innovation and supplemented by additional grant data from MyGRANTS, Jabatan Pendidikan Tinggi, (Department of Higher Education, MOE) and KPM, the report shows that research and innovation activities among Malaysian universities are dominated by the five Research Universities (RUs): Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Approximately 60 percent of Malaysia’s research output is derived from the five RUs. Among the top research papers meeting the criteria for Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Papers (that is, ranking among the top 1 percent most cited for their field and year of publication), a staggering 77% is produced by the RUs. Universiti Malaya stands out in terms of research performance, but it is Universiti Putra Malaysia that registered the greatest number of inventions. This shows that there is divergence in terms of basic and applied foci of various RUs.

Although it is not surprising for non-RUs to have a lower research output, size-independent metric measurements such as CNCI1 and percentage of Highly Cited Papers have shown that they are able to compete with RUs in terms of scholarly impact. Some of the dominant non-RUs featured in this report are Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, and Monash University Sunway, all of which have shown strong research performance. A sizeable number of inventions were registered by International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Universiti Teknologi MARA, which indicates that non-RUs do stand out in terms of innovation.

KPM defines seven research clusters (Technology and Engineering, Social Sciences, Pure and Applied Sciences, Natural Sciences and National Heritage, Information and Communication Technology, Clinical and Health Sciences and Arts and Applied Arts).  Each cluster was further analyzed alongside grant data from KPM; it is noteworthy that the Clinical and Health Sciences cluster has shown above-average research and innovation productivity and impact.

Green Technology is a sub-cluster within Technology and Engineering and an important focus area for Malaysia. There is significant interest in this research area across multiple Malaysian government ministries and hence this sub-cluster was chosen for a deeper analysis in this report. Green Technology shows ~6,000 papers, which is roughly five percent of Malaysia’s total output but which accounts for  ~200 Highly Cited Papers, almost a third of all Highly Cited Papers produced in the same period. This research field also saw a high number of patent filings, representing 13 percent of the total 5,453 patents filed in the same period.

Click here to download the report.

1The Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI) of a paper is an unbiased indicator of impact irrespective of age, document type and subject category. The Category Normalized Citation Impact of a document is calculated by dividing the actual count of citing items by the expected citation rate for documents with the same document type, year of publication and subject area. For example, a CNCI of 3 means that a paper is three times more impactful than the average citations of all papers published worldwide in that same year and same subject category.