More University Rankings

Quantitative analysis of science and technology is  a growing research area.  There are two university rankings based on bibilometric indicators which are worth watching:

Cybermetrics Lab has this university ranking for Top 100 universities in Europe, published in July 2009. TCD is the only Irish university in this list, ranked 49th in Europe and 169th in the world ranking. In the world ranking UC Cork is 393rd and UCD is 457th. The world rank of Irish universities can be found here.

The Centre for Science and Technology Studies of the Leiden University has constructed several university rankings based on scientific output. While based on the same data and methodological background, rankings differ depending on the focus of the impact – indicators. The Leiden ranking results 2008 can be found here.

11 replies on “More University Rankings”

Comment on post : More University Rankings

Not forgetting us on the West, its worth noting that the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) has come 243rd in the Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.

Also on the Cybermetric Lab world university world ranking NUIG has come 352nd with UCC 393rd and UCD 457th.

Is there indicators measuring the impact that one’s research has on markets, i.e. its ability to be converted from paper research into having an end result on a “shop shelf”.

The size of an institution really doesn’t mean much does it? And If you research something that no one has done its bound to get cited on numerous counts and thus increasing its status as an efficient area/piece of research.

I think measurements should be on ability to innovate and deliver end results, an ability to intercept and change the market. From research to “cash”!

How many departments have graduated PhD with their thesis’s done and then hauled into shelves never to be seen again?

Surprisingly the Tipperary Institute, slated for for closure by Bord Snip Nua, is ahead of three other ITs (Galway-Mayo, Tralee and Tallaght) in the Cybermetrics rankings.

Forgive me, I was looking at European rankings being 352!! But not bad coming 243rd on the Higher Education-QS World University Rankings!

The Cybermatics Rankings are a total Joke. London School of Economics (LSE) at 70 and the Open University at 75. Are you sure that this Ranking system was not done by a Lottery ???

These University rankings are not the same as others. Here is what Cybermetrics has to say:

“The Cybermetrics Lab … is devoted to the quantitative analysis of the Internet and Web contents specially those related to the processes of generation and scholarly communication of scientific knowledge.

The cybermetric indicators are … [a] complement to the results obtained with bibliometric methods.”

This is from Wikipedia:

“Since 2004 the Webometrics ranking of world universities is offering information about more than 6,000 universities ranked according to indicators measuring Web presence and impact (link visibility).”

Irish universities could boost their Webometric rankings if all departments had their working and published papers on their public webpages. Also, all departments should have class webpages that show (1) detailed course outlines (with book lists, readings, homework, etc), (2) exam papers and, (3) notes. These are a record of what has been done or a prospectus of what will be done, and should be accessible by all : students, faculty, administration, and the public (who are paying the bill in most universities).

Posting class notes is not a novel idea : Isaac Newton, when he became Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge in 1669, was required by statute to deposit a copy of his lectures in the library.

Here are two useful Irish education sites:

TCD has a very good (but slow) `open access repository’ at

The State Examinations Commission has a useful (but clunky) website where, for example, Leaving Cert papers are posted 24 hours after they are given. See:

@ Derek O’Connor

your post suggests that webometric rankings are correct in assuming that publication of class notes online reflects better quality; I strenuously disagree. I do not put my class notes online because it reduces the incentive to turn up to lectures and I am convinced that for the vast majority of students, turning up to lectures is important to understanding the material presented.

@ Aedin Doris

I seem to have left you with some wrong impressions. There are two main points in my post:

1. “Irish universities could boost their Webometric rankings if all departments had their working and published papers on their public webpages.”

I did not say that this would indicate better quality. I chose the word ‘boost’ carefully.

2. “… all departments should have class webpages that show (1) detailed course outlines (with book lists, readings, homework, etc) … accessible by all …”

This point is related to quality because it allows people inside and outside the university to judge the quality of what is being taught. For example, I have read class notes which had mathematical statements that were provably and demonstrably wrong. I recently saw a webpage book list for a subject where the fundamentals (and textbooks) have changed significantly in the last 15 years, but each book on the list was over 30 years old.

I can’t comment on web notes and class attendance because this problem rarely occurred in the small (10-25) graduate classes I taught.

On the value of Class Webpages, notes, etc.

Here are some comments I made in an email discussion with academic friends in the US a few years ago:

1. ” … Again, if computers, Internet, class webpages etc. are so good, we should expect some improvement in the knowledge and understanding that students gain in these classes. I have seen no evidence of this in my classes over the past 10 years. I suspect that many students do not read the notes I post — in the past they never read the required text so why would they read required web notes? Most never follow the links to important articles on the subject I have pointed them to.”

2. “Some people have pointed out the benefit of lecture notes being posted before the lecture so that students can read them and be better prepared to ask questions.

“This is just wishful thinking. Not alone do students not read the notes before class, they don’t even read them after class. For example, a few years ago in a class of 17 graduate students, I handed out a set of problems. Later I realised that the problems and the solutions were in the class notes which had been posted two weeks earlier. I said nothing. When the students handed in their solutions the following week, only one had found the solutions in the class notes, and he just copied my solutions without attribution”

I believe the main value of a class webpage, etc., is administrative: it is a record (or prospectus) of what has been done, and should be accessible by all.

See the article in today’s Irish Times about ‘eTransparencey’:

PS: Is the wrong place for this discussion?

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