Friday, February 22, 2013

More Rankings on the Way

Soon it will be springtime in the Northern hemisphere and spring would not be complete without a few more rankings.

The Times Higher Education reputation rankings will be launched in early March at the British Council's Going Global conference in Dubai.

“Almost 50,000 academics have provided their expert insight over just three short annual rounds of the survey, providing a serious worldwide audit of an increasingly important but little-understood aspect of global higher education – a university’s academic brand.”
This year’s reputation rankings will be the based on the 16,639 responses, from 144 countries, to Thomson Reuters’ 2012 Academic Reputation Survey, which was carried out during March and April 2012. The 2011 survey attracted 17,554 responses, and 2010’s survey attracted 13,388 respondents.

The survey is by invitation only and academics are selected to be statistically representative of their geographical region and discipline. All are published scholars, questioned about their experiences in the field in which they work. The average time this year’s respondents spent working in the sector was 17 years. '

Meanwhile, the QS ranking of 30 subjects is coming soon. Until now these have been based on varying combinations of employer opinion, academic opinion and citations. This year they will be adding  an indicator based on the h-index.

Here is a definition from Wikipedia:

"The index is based on the distribution of citations received by a given researchers publications. Hirsch writes:
A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np − h) papers have no more than h citations each.
In other words, a scholar with an index of h has published h papers each of which has been cited in other papers at least h times.[2] Thus, the h-index reflects both the number of publications and the number of citations per publication. The index is designed to improve upon simpler measures such as the total number of citations or publications. The index works properly only for comparing scientists working in the same field; citation conventions differ widely among different fields.
The h-index serves as an alternative to more traditional journal impact factor metrics in the evaluation of the impact of the work of a particular researcher. Because only the most highly cited articles contribute to the h-index, its determination is a relatively simpler process. Hirsch has demonstrated that h has high predictive value for whether a scientist has won honors like National Academy membership or the Nobel Prize. "

This means that one paper cited once produces an index of 1, 20 papers cited 20 times an index of 20, 100 papers cited 100 times an index of 100 and so on.

The point of this is that it combines productivity and quality as measured by citations and reduces the effect of extreme outliers. This is definitely an improvement for QS.

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