Webometrics Ranking of World Universities
Webometrics University Ranking is a ranking system based on the university’s web presence, visibility, and web access. This ranking system measures how strongly a university is present on the web by its own web domain, sub-pages, rich files, scholarly articles, etc. The central hypothesis of this approach is that web presence is a reliable indicator of the global performance and prestige of the universities and as such, is an indirect way to measure all the university missions (teaching, research, transfer). Although the Web is universally recognized as one of the most relevant tools for scholarly communication, it is still very rare for these indicators to be used for the evaluation of scientific research and the academic performance of universities. Webometric indicators are provided to show the commitment of the institutions to Web publication.
A research paper in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Scientometrics found “reasonable similarities” between the Webometrics rankings and other prominent university rankings despite using a very different set of features to determine each university’s rank. These similarities were increased when the comparison was limited solely to European universities.
Top universities are publishing millions of pages produced by dozens of departments and services, hundreds of research teams, and thousands of scholars. Strong web presence informs of a wide variety of factors that are clearly correlated with the global quality of the institution: widespread availability of computer resources available, global internet literacy, policies promoting democracy and freedom of speech, competition for international visibility or support of open access initiatives, among others.