Over the last few days there have been calls for the global rankers to boycott or delist Russian universities to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There have also been demands that journals should reject submissions from Russian authors and universities and research bodies stop collaborating with Russian authors.
So far, four European ranking agencies have announced some sort of sanctions.
U-Multirank has announced that Russian universities will be suspended "until they again share in the core values of the European higher education area."
QS will not promote Russia as a study area and will pause business engagement. It will also redact Russian universities from new rankings.
Webometrics will "limit the value added information" for Russian and Belarusian universities.
Times Higher Education (THE) will stop business activities with Russia but will not remove Russian universities from its rankings.
The crisis has highlighted a fundamental ambiguity in the nature of global rankings. Are they devices for promoting the business interests of institutions or do they provide relevant and useful information for researchers, students and the public?
Refraining from doing business with Russia until it withdraws from Ukraine is a welcome rebuke to the current government. If, however, rankings contain useful information about Russian scientific and research capabilities then that information should continue to be made available.
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