Webometrics Ranking of World Universities


Webometrics Ranking of World Universities

The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities is an initiative to improve the presence of the academic and research institutions on the Web and to promote the open access publication of scientific results. The ranking started in 2004 and is based on a combined indicator that takes into account both the volume of the Web contents and the visibility and impact of this web publications according to the number of external inlinks (sitations) they received. The ranking is updated every January and July, providing Web indicators for universities and research centers worldwide. The approach takes into account the wide range of scientific activities represented in the academic websites, frequently overlooked by the bibliometric indicators.

Justification and objectives of the Ranking

Although the Web is universally recognized as the one of the most relevant tools for scholarly communication, it is very surprising the low impact the Web contents have in some academia fora. In fact the web indicators are not taken into account at all in the evaluation of the scientific research and the academic performance of universities

A few years ago many web sites of even very important institutions were small, with little relevant information and no added value. This is no longer true and the Top universities are publishing millions of pages produced by dozens of departments and services, hundreds of research teams and thousands of scholars. Strong web presence informs of a wide variety of factors that are clearly correlated with the global quality of the institution: Widespread availability of computer resources available, global internet literacy, policies promoting democracy and freedom of speech, competition for international visibility or support of open access initiatives, among others.

Web publication is frequently questioned about quality of the contents, not taking into account that besides research results published in prestigious journals, the same authors develop a wide range of activities reflected on the web pages. Teaching material, raw data, drafts, slides, software, bibliographic or links lists are also relevant and inform of the commitment of the professor to their students. The structure, composition and all kind of administrative information provided by the institution itself is valuable and again when is made available through the web speaks of the high academic level of the university.

Granting access to and promoting web publication among the faculty members means other colleagues know about the scientific results produced, more candidate students know about the university, the companies can find suitable partners for industrial projects, and organizations could easily access to experts contact data.

Most of the institutions on the distribution tail of the Rankings only publish a few dozens or hundreds of pages, probable not amounting more than several Megabytes of space in the hard disk of the web server. This output is similar to those provided by teenagers at a cost similar to their weekly stipend. Even in most of the developing countries this human and economic effort is affordable. If you consider most of the Web information is currently recovered through search engines it is possible that data of an even obscure institution of a remote corner of the world can be easily accessed. Having a web presence is easy and cheap and the potential audience is in the order of millions.

Webometric indicators are provided to show the commitment of the institutions to Web publication. If the web performance of an institution is below the expected position according to their academic excellence, university authorities should reconsider their web policy, promoting substantial increases in the volume and quality of their electronic publications.

tructure and contents

The website offers three different main Rankings subdivided in some cases in regional Rankings:

- Universities. The main worldwide list of 4000 universities build from a catalogue of over 15000 institutions is also offered as regional lists:
* [http://www.webometrics.info/top100_continent.asp?cont=usa_canada North America]
* [http://www.webometrics.info/top500_europe.asp Europe]
** [http://www.webometrics.info/Webometrics%20library/Europa%20del%20Este%20jul07.pdf Eastern Europe]
** [http://www.webometrics.info/top100_spain.asp Spain]
* [http://www.webometrics.info/top100_continent.asp?cont=asia Asia]
** [http://www.webometrics.info/Webometrics%20library/Sureste%20de%20Asia%20jul07.pdf South East Asia]
** [http://www.webometrics.info/Webometrics%20library/Indian%20SC%20jan07.pdf Indian Subcontinent]
* [http://www.webometrics.info/top100_continent.asp?cont=meast Middle East]
* [http://www.webometrics.info/top100_continent.asp?cont=africa Africa]
** [http://www.webometrics.info/Webometrics%20library/MidEstNthAf%20jul07.pdf North Africa + Middle East]
* [http://www.webometrics.info/top200_latinamerica.asp Latin America]
** [http://www.webometrics.info/Webometrics%20library/Iberoamerica%20jul07.pdf Iberoamerica]
* [http://www.webometrics.info/top100_continent.asp?cont=oceania Oceania]
* [http://www.webometrics.info/Webometrics%20library/BRIC%20jul07.pdf BRIC]

- Research Institutes. [http://www.webometrics.info/top1000_r&d.asp Top 1000] from a catalogue of over 5000 are published

- Research Councils. Individual data for [http://www.webometrics.info/CNRS.asp CNRS] , [http://www.webometrics.info/CNR.asp CNR] , [http://www.webometrics.info/CSIC.asp CSIC] , [http://www.webometrics.info/Max_Planck.asp Max Planck] , [http://www.webometrics.info/FHG.asp Fraunhofer] [http://www.webometrics.info/CSIRO.asp CSIRO] and [http://www.webometrics.info/NIH.asp NIH]

Top 50 universities in the January 2008 Ranking

Authorship

The Webometrics Ranking is produced by the Cybermetrics Lab, a unit of the National Research Council, the main public research body in Spain. The Lab acts as an Observatory of the Science and Technology on the Web.

External links

* [http://www.cindoc.csic.es/ CINDOC]
* [http://www.csic.es/ CSIC]
* [http://www.webometrics.info Webometrics Ranking of World Universities]


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