INTERNET FOOTPRINT PLACES U AMONG THE TOP UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD

September 21, 2007 – An institution of higher education can be judged by its contribution to scientific research and other scholarship through the internet footprint it leaves behind. That’s the method by which the Webometric Ranking of World Universities selected institutions of higher education to be on its list.

In the latest ranking, the University of Utah ranked 51st worldwide and 45th among schools in the U.S. and Canada. Webometrics says analyzing a school’s internet activity is a good way to judge its contribution to the academic community and its scholarship.

The ranking is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group of the Centro de InformaciĆ³n y DocumentaciĆ³n (CINDOC), part of the National Research Council (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain.

“I’m not surprised at this ranking. The University of Utah is very forward thinking in the use of the web; it seems to be encoded in our DNA from the days we partnered to create ARPANET, the precursor to the current internet,” said Paula Millington, director of media solutions in the Office of Information Technology at the University of Utah. “Today we literally have millions of pieces of web content available from dedicated academics who are committed to creating new knowledge.”

The methodology used to determine how schools are ranked in the Webometric ranking is scientific and based on a university’s Web Impact Factor (WIF), or link analysis that combines the number of external inlinks and the number of pages of the school’s website. The other main measure of a school’s ranking comes from the number of documents, measured from the number of rich files in its web domain, and the number of publications being collected by Google Scholar database.

The rankings creators say, “Web presence reflects better a large number of variables involved in the University’s missions (teaching, research and knowledge transfer). Aspects as academic freedom, level of funding, access to new technologies, relationships with the community, links with companies and industry, open access and sharing policies, students’ participation, interdisciplinary, maturity, prestige, leadership or solidarity are considered in the Web as well as the number of research papers, scientific projects or international awards.”

For more information about the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities go to: http://www.webometrics.info/.

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