We could be Heroes: Optimize your University for Global Rankings


Published on

Recommendations according to the criteria of international university ranking organizations and the sources they use such as Google Scholar and open online research repositories.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

We could be Heroes: Optimize your University for Global Rankings

  1. 1.  Introduction: international university rankings  Education Ministry (MEXT) on how to rise in the rankings  Kansai universities’ reputation vs. international rankings  Online factors that academics can optimize  Open Web presence and impact of the university site  Online research repositories for faculty publications  Surprising uses of Google Scholar  Used by ranking organizations to evaluate universities  It finds and links publications, and it counts citations  It can be used to optimize faculty academic recognition  How to set up and customize Google Scholar Profiles  Conclusion: faculty-university mutual commitment
  2. 2. The Education Ministry aims for top Japanese universities to rise high in global rankings Yahoo News (2013, July 29). Daigaku sekai ranku iri shien, 10-ko 100-oku-en hojo [¥10 billion to support the inclusion of 10 universities in world rankings]. Yomiuri Shimbun. Retrieved from: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130729-00000620-yom-soci
  3. 3. MEXT: “In order to rise in rankings, it is necessary for researchers attached to universities to do original studies, through which, among other things, their published papers will be cited by other researchers” (author’s translation).
  4. 4. 4ICU Japan QS Asia 300 WM Japan WM World SIR Japan SIR Asia SIR World Average Japan Kwansei Gakuin 49 251- 300 82 1,850 151 667 2,018 94 (5) Kansai 21 43 1,285 104 441 1,467 56 (4) Doshi- sha 22 201- 250 39 1,210 86 367 1,257 49 (3) Ritsu- meikan 44 181- 190 15 649 57 259 974 39 (2) Kyoto Sangyo 38 111 2,191 215 936 2,524 121 (7) Kinki 41 181- 190 31 1,080 38 176 738 37 (1) Konan 130 128 2,499 189 836 2,340 149 (8) Ryu- koku 28 71 1,690 187 828 2,327 95 (6)
  5. 5. Sources, author’s translations and notes “KAN-KAN-DO-RITS 関関同立(Kwansei Gakuin University, Kansai University, Doshisha University, and Ritsumeikan University) is the abbreviation that many people refer to when talking about the four leading private universities in the region (of 20 million people…” from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ritsumeikan_University 「これら各大学は、関西・西日本における難関私立大学として知られている」 from http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/関関同立 [It means that KanKanDoRits are known as competitive-entry private universities in the Kansai region and Western Japan] 「西日本、関西圏における中堅私立大学として知られている」 from http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/産近甲龍 [It means that SanKinKoRyu are known as mainstay private universities in Kansai] University ranking organizations 4ICU = 4 International Colleges & Universities, Japan from http://www.4icu.org/jp QS = Quacquarelli Symonds [biased to large public universities?], Asia top 300, from http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/asian-university-rankings/2013 WM = Webometrics [impact is 50% and means backlinks to the university’s official Web domain], Japan & World from http://www.webometrics.info/en/Asia/Japan SIR = SCImago [includes government & corporate research institutes], Japan, Asia, & World from http://www.scimagoir.com/pdf/SIR%20Global%20JPN%202013%20O.pdf
  6. 6. 95 (6)95 (6)  Have the reputations of these well-known Kansai universities fossilized in Japan?  Are some universities punching above or below their weight in international rankings?  Other explanations? Note: Ranking organizations have made their methods, criteria and weighting clear, in terms of which their rankings are accurate, so it is important to know how universities are evaluated, and then to optimize Web presence for academic recognition.
  7. 7.  How universities are evaluated by international ranking organizations  What university people can affect – optimization  Open Web publishing for impact and links (next slide)  online campus research repositories (later slides)  Google Scholar (Citation) Profiles (later slides) See the handout later for details McCarty, S. (2013). Web presence and higher education rankings. Online Education Insights, 5 (1). Retrieved from http://www.waoe.org/WP/?page_id=183
  8. 8. According to criteria of ranking organizations and Google Scholar:  Publish more content of all kinds  on the open Web, not password-protected  in the main campus domain, e.g., www.xyz.ac.jp/subdomain/article.pdf  Have versions of publications in English and other languages  Interlink all Web content  Standardize spellings of individuals and university names  Format articles to match Google Scholar algorithms  Have bilingual or multilingual abstracts and keywords  Format online publications and presentations in PDF / rich files See the handout later for details
  9. 9.  Reprint faculty papers on the open Web  Need permission to reprint closed publications  Affect the size of the university’s measured academic output  Attract links and citations, which can raise the university’s ranking  Use open-source research repository software (next slides)  Are interoperable with Google Scholar, CiNii in Japan, etc.  Such data are also used by university ranking organizations  Increase exposure, backlinks (a measure of impact)  Citations tend to be more numerous to open access publications  Also interoperable are repositories such as http://www.getcited.org and http://www.academia.edu
  10. 10.  A justifiable reprinting on the open Web of articles published
  11. 11. Some items are simply listed, while this item offers the file, a presentation in PDF format, not available elsewhere as such. Citations in such PDF files may be found/counted by Google Scholar.
  12. 12. The usual use of Google Scholar is to find reliable sources for research. One might see a syntactically ill-formed phrase and wonder if scholars, perhaps in educational technology, find it acceptable and descriptive. From http://scholar.google.com/schhp?hl=en
  13. 13. 447 results appear with the exact phrase, and the writers seem to be English native speakers. Be that as it may, similar phrases can also be discerned, so the disciplinary context of the phrase comes into view.
  14. 14. What may be surprising is that Google Scholar data on the publications and citations of faculty members, which are selectively and incompletely counted online, are used by ranking organizations to evaluate university academic output, and this is a factor that can be affected by individual efforts. The chief recommendation therefore is for all faculty members who publish to set up and customize their own Google Scholar Profile. Webometrics 2012 global university ranking criteria
  15. 15. Example Google Scholar Profile: The focus is on citations. It handles various languages. A verifiable academic e-mail address is necessary. Articles can be sorted by most cited (the default) or in reverse chronological order (click on “Year”). Customization includes specializations, co-authors (invited by e- mail), and manually adding publications that Google Scholar does not find.
  16. 16. Start at http://scholar.google.com or http://scholar.google.co.jp (日本語で) Click on Sign in, log into your Google account if necessary, and apply to set up a Google Scholar Profile using your main academic e-mail address, such as User_ID@xyz.ac.jp To customize, click on links or choose among “Actions” from the drop- down menu on your profile page. Your Profile, which is indexed with a high weight in Google search results, can serve as an online list of publications, updated automatically and manually throughout your career. See the handout later for step-by-step directions
  17. 17. Example of a Google Scholar Profile sorted in reverse chronological order
  18. 18. After clicking on the title of a publication in the profile, fuller details appear. In the profiles only the first initials of authors are used. “Scholar articles” are versions found automatically, while the above sections were added manually.
  19. 19. After clicking on “Edit” (previous slide) or “Add” and then “Add article manually” from the Profile page, fill in the text boxes to make changes or to add new publications (above example of an online article).
  20. 20. Citations  Gold standard of peer review.  Average number of citations is about 1.5 per publication in databases.  Google Scholar cannot find all the citations to a scholarly publication.  Authors who cite one’s publications may be helpful for one’s research.  Open access publications tend to be found and cited more than more prestigious publications that are strictly kept offline. This may eventually tilt the field toward openness.  Rory McGreal (UNESCO/COL OER Chair): “if you have to pay, it is a scam” From http://landing.athabascau.ca/blog/view/359416/scam-open-access-journals
  21. 21. Conclusions and Recommendations  Many Japanese universities are punching below their weight due to a lack of citations (MEXT, 2013) and rich content including English on their Website, so be a faculty hero by helping optimize academic accomplishments for fuller recognition.  Universities hurt their rankings by high teacher turnover and part-time hiring.  Attractiveness to foreign students (reputation) is affected by rankings abroad.  Have an open source online campus research repository of faculty publications.  Have all affiliated scholars who publish maintain a Google Scholar Profile. Optimize as well as maximize Web presence.  Have all campus Website pages interlinked, and encourage links from other domains by providing faculty homepages and useful community services. Show abundance and openness rather than scarcity and exclusiveness. See the handout for details
  22. 22. 4 International Colleges & Universities (4ICU Web Ranking) Ranks over 11,000 colleges and universities in the world, so most of Japan’s should be included. Criteria (4ICU does not claim that they are academic): Google Page Rank, Alexa Traffic Rank, Majestic Seo Referring Domains, Majestic Seo Citation Flow, and Majestic Seo Trust Flow From http://www.4icu.org/menu/about.htm (SEO ordinarily means search engine optimization. Referring domains are other sites that make links to the university domain, i.e., number of backlink sites) University Ranking Organizations and their Criteria supporting the optimization recommendations in this presentation
  23. 23. Times Higher Education World University Rankings: Top 400 universities worldwide, by region, and by subject. “The performance indicators *are+ teaching, research, citations, international outlook and interaction with industry” - Asian universities catching up [Editorial] (2012, October 17). Japan Times. Retrieved from http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/ed20121017a2.html US News & World Report Asian Rankings (2012, based on QS, cited in slide #6, which was designed to help international students planning to study abroad. The Japanese universities ranked in Asia seem to be large and public ones). Criteria: Asian Academic Reputation, Employer Review, Faculty-Student Ratio, International Faculty, International Students, and Citations per Paper (Japanese universities have relatively low scores on international criteria). From: http://www.usnews.com/education/worlds-best-universities-rankings/best-universities-in-asia SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR) uses “Scopus as the largest publication and citation database of research literature, mainly (but not exclusively) composed of scholarly journals and conference proceedings. Titles included must conform to academic quality norms, specifically peer-review. Scopus covers titles from all geographical regions containing the largest collection of non-English titles.” From http://www.scimagoir.com/methodology.php?page=data_source
  24. 24. Webometrics – Ranking Web of World Universities ranks the Web presence and performance of over 20,000 universities worldwide, regionally, and by country. Size means the output of Web pages. Webometrics and other university ranking organizations claim that on-campus survey data would not be reliable, and that institutions will rapidly lose ground if they do not work on their online presence. The original aim of the Ranking is to promote academic web presence, supporting the Open Access initiatives for increasing significantly the transfer of scientific and cultural knowledge generated by the universities to the whole Society. [Today] the Web is key for the future of all the university missions, as it is already the most important scholarly communication tool, the future channel for the off-campus distance learning, the open forum for the community engagement and the universal showcase for attracting talent, funding and resources. … Webometrics uses link analysis for quality evaluation [and] [r]esearch output … including not only formal (e-journals, repositories) publications but also informal scholarly communication. Web publication [can] reach much larger potential audiences, offering access to scientific knowledge to researchers and institutions located in developing countries and also to third parties (economic, industrial, political or cultural stakeholders) in their local community. ... 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 of the volume and quality of their electronic publications. From http://www.webometrics.info/en/Methodology
  25. 25. Webometrics – weighting of criteria: Visibility (50%) = IMPACT = “counting all the external inlinks (and the number of domains originating those backlinks) that the University webdomain receives from third parties. Those links are recognizing the institutional prestige, the academic performance, the value of the information, and the usefulness of the services” … Activity (50%) = PRESENCE (1/3) = The total number of webpages hosted in the main webdomain (including all the subdomains and directories) of the university as indexed by the largest commercial search engine (Google). … It is not possible to have a strong presence without the contribution of everybody in the organization as the top contenders are already able to publish millions of webpages. Having additional domains or alternative central ones for foreign languages or marketing purposes penalizes in this indicator and it is also very confusing for external users. OPENNESS (1/3). The global effort to set up institutional research repositories is explicitly recognized in this indicator that takes into account the number of rich files (pdf, doc, docx, ppt) published in dedicated websites according to the academic search engine Google Scholar… EXCELLENCE (1/3). The academic papers published in high impact international journals … (Latest 2013 criteria). From http://www.webometrics.info/en/Methodology Optimization recommendations: http://www.webometrics.info/en/Best_Practices