Research/ Learning

Ranking and citing

Lorcan 1 min read

For good or ill, universities notice rankings. These are compiled in various ways, including peer assessment and citation analysis. I was interested to come across the work of The Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University which is “currently developing a new ranking system entirely based on its own bibliometric indicators”. They present results for the 100 largest universities in Europe.
At the same time we are seeing discussion of a metrics-based approach to research evaluation in the UK, based on bibliometric analysis.
I was interested to read the following paragraph on the Leiden site:

The increasing use of bibliometric data in evaluation procedures and particularly in rankings underlines the vital importance of a clear, coherent and effective presentation to the outside world of universities in their publications. For instance, King’s College, University of London (KCL), introduced a code of practice to ensure that all publications are properly attributed to the College. This is in light of recent evidence that up to 25% of citations from KCL academics in recent years were missed due to failure to use ‘King’s College London’ in the address mentioned in the publication heading. [The Challenges of University Ranking]

I expect we will see more of this type of attention as there is a more oganized approach to university reputation management. I would be interested to know if any universities have similar guidelines about consistent use of personal and institutional names on publications to avoid fragmentation of publication counts.
Library authority control files are limiting in this regard, as they only include names associated with items which have gone through the cataloging process. Their continued usefulness probably depends on some broadening of scope.
I came across the Leiden work through the following article:
Bibliometric statistical properties of the 100 largest European research universities: prevalent scaling rules in the science system. Anthony FJ van Raan. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 59(3) 2008.

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