February 21, 2008—The internet footprint left behind by an institution of higher education can show its contribution to scientific research and other scholarship, and that can be compared to the internet impact of other schools to develop an overall ranking. 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 (The U) ranked 48th worldwide, up two spots from last year. The U also moved up two spots among schools in the U.S. and Canada ranking 43rd. 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 belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain.
“From the earliest days of the internet, the University of Utah has cultivated its Web presence. After all, 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 U. “Because we have so much to offer in the way of research and discovery and it is so readily available on the Web, this ranking is well deserved.”
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 the Google Scholar database.
The rankings creators say, “ Web presence reflects a large number of variables involved in the university’s missions (teaching, research and knowledge transfer).”
For more information about the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities go to www.webometrics.info.