[Irtalk] Ranking of African Universities

Smith, Ina <ismith@sun.ac.za> ismith at sun.ac.za
Fri Feb 8 08:35:50 SAST 2013

Dear all

There are numerous ranking systems available out there, and although each might have some flaws, we believe it is a good indicator of the visibility of research output out there, and whether the right decisions are being made. Making full text research available via repositories is one very important way to increase research impact, as well as increasing the visibility of an institutions' research, thereby 'marketing/promoting' the University, and establishing it as a world class and leading research University. The results from the Ranking Web of Universities by Webometrics has just been released. Please visit: http://www.webometrics.info/en/Ranking_africa (African Universities).

Please note the composite criteria on which the ranking is based:

Visibility (50%)

IMPACT. The quality of the contents is evaluated through a "virtual referendum", counting all the external inlinks 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 as introduced in the webpages according to the criteria of millions of web editors from all over the world. The link visibility data is collected from the two most important providers of this information: Majestic SEO<http://www.majesticseo.com> and ahrefs<http://ahrefs.com>. Both use their own crawlers, generating different databases that should be used jointly for filling gaps or correcting mistakes. The indicator is the product of square root of the number of backlinks and the number of domains originating those backlinks, so it is not only important the link popularity but even more the link diversity. The maximum of the normalized results is the impact indicator.

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<http://www.google.com>). It counts every webpage, including all the formats recognized individually by Google, both static and dynamic pages and other rich files. 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<http://scholar.google.com>. Both the total files Both the total records and those with correctly formed file names are considered (for example, the Adobe Acrobat files should end with the suffix .pdf). The objective is to consider recent publications that now are those published between 2008 and 2012 (new period).

EXCELLENCE (1/3). The academic papers published in high impact international journals are playing a very important role in the ranking of Universities. Using simply the total number of papers can be misleading, so we are restricting the indicator to only those excellent publications, i.e. the university scientific output being part of the 10% most cited papers in their respective scientific fields. Although this is a measure of high quality output of research institutions, the data provider Scimago group<http://www.scimagoir.com> supplied non-zero values for more than 5200 universities (period 2003-2010). In future editions it is intended to match the counting periods between Scholar and Scimago sources.
With kind regards

Ina Smith

E-Research Repository Manager (SUNScholar) | Stellenbosch University | Private Bag X5036, 7599 | South Africa
SUNScholar<http://scholar.sun.ac.za/> | SUNJournals<http://library.sun.ac.za/English/services/az/oa/Pages/sunjournals.aspx> | SUNConferences<http://library.sun.ac.za/Afrikaans/services/az/oa/Pages/sunconferences.aspx> | E-mail: ismith at sun.ac.za<mailto:ismith at sun.ac.za> | Tel:  +27 21 808 9139 | Skype: smith.ina | Office hours: Mo-Fr: 08h00-16h30

E-Navorsingsbewaarplekbestuurder (SUNScholar) | Universiteit Stellenbosch | Privaatsak X5036, 7599 | Suid-Afrika
SUNScholar<http://scholar.sun.ac.za/>  | SUNJournals<http://library.sun.ac.za/English/services/az/oa/Pages/sunjournals.aspx> | SUNConferences<http://library.sun.ac.za/Afrikaans/services/az/oa/Pages/sunconferences.aspx> | E-pos: ismith at sun.ac.za<mailto:ismith at sun.ac.za> | Tel:  +27 21 808 9139 | Skype: smith.ina | Kantoorure: Mo-Fr: 08h00-16h30

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