In the latest rankings by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, UC Santa Barbara has placed second on the annual list of the top 500 major universities in the world in terms of impact in the field of the sciences.

This represents a jump of five places from last year’s annual ranking of the top 500. The Leiden Ranking is based on data from the Web of Science bibliographic database produced by Thomson Reuters.

UCSB ranks second only to M.I.T., and this year came in above heavyweights Stanford, Princeton, Harvard and Rice universities, which ranked third to sixth places, respectively. UC Berkeley came in at No. 7 and Caltech at No. 8. UC San Francisco took the No. 9 spot, and Yale University took No. 10.

Other UC campuses also made the list, including UC Santa Cruz at No. 11, UC San Diego at No. 15 and UCLA at No. 25. Meanwhile, UC Riverside ranked No. 35, UC Irvine No. 44 and UC Davis No. 82.

“We are very proud of UC Santa Barbara’s No. 2 ranking in Leiden University’s four-year study of the top 500 universities in the world,” Chancellor Henry Yang said. “Such recognition is a resounding affirmation of our faculty’s unwavering commitment to excellence. The high citation rate of our colleagues’ publications in prestigious journals reflects the far-reaching impact of the research being conducted on our campus.”

The Leiden Ranking is a compilation of the top 500 universities worldwide with the largest publication output in the Web of Science database. Impact is determined by several indicators, including the average number of citations of the publications of a university, and the proportion of publications that belong in the top 10 percent most frequently cited. Based on 2008 to 2011 numbers in the Web of Science database, UCSB’s scientific publications –– which include papers in the areas of life, biomedical, mathematics, engineering, computer, natural and social sciences –– are cited an average of 10.12 times, and 22 percent of its scientific publications belong in the top 10 percent of most frequently cited publications.

According to the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, the Leiden Ranking “offers more advanced indicators of scientific impact and collaboration and uses a more transparent methodology.” The ranking does not use data from reputational surveys, or data provided by the universities themselves, and employs bibliometric methods –– quantitative analyses of patterns of publication –– to analyze the impact of and collaboration between the top 500 universities in the field of the sciences.

The Centre is a leading provider of science and technology indicators, and of performance and benchmark studies of scientific groups and institutes.

Click here for the complete 2013 Leiden Ranking.