Dutch universities fall in the THES University rankings 2007

The first results of the THES universities rankings 2007 are already published on the Web, despite the embargo untill Friday. The change in methodology has quite a dramatic effect for the Dutch universities. Did we have an impressive 7 universities in the top 100 last year, in the 2007 edition only 4 remain in the top 100. Thee poll position of Dutch universities is taken over by UvA at 48 (up from 69), followed by Delft at 63 (up from 86), Leiden at 84 ( up from 90) and Utrecht at 89 (up from 89). The universities of Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Wageningen dropped out the top 100 from this league table.

It is too early to say what the exact cause of all these changes, then we should have a look at all parameters underlying this ranking. For that we have to await the official publication.

hattip: University Ranking Watch who has three stories on the new rankings, English and Canadian universities are doing exceptionally well according to URW

THES university rankings 2007

Next Friday the Times Higher Education Supplement will publish it’s famous rankings for world universities . This year they have changed the methodology quite a bit. Perhaps to counter some of the criticism on these rankings as formulated in the Wikipedia. They have made changes to the peer review, which counts for 40% in the overall ranking, and prevented the possibility of self selection of own universities by peers. They have changed the database from which they retrieve the citation data. They have selected Scopus from Elsevier above citation data from ISI (The Essential Science Indicators from Thomson Scientific that is). They have reduced the citation frame period, from ten to five years. They have attempted to make a difference between full time equivalents and number of faculty and finally they have normalized the rankings.

There are two items I like to pick out. They have selected Scopus over ESI. Quite a change. This will be less disadvantageous for countries with a strong publication culture in their own language. Think about France, Germany and all Spanish language countries, or perhaps Chinese, Japanse or Korean. The other aspect is the citation frame. I encourage a five year period over a 10 year period, but they only look at “the most recent complete 5 year window” , i.e. 2002-2006. Whereas I would prefer the period of 2001-2005 or even better 2000-2004, so all publications will have received their fair share of citations.

Meanwhile we remain, and wait for Friday to see how all these changes will affect these popular rankings.


Sowter, B. (2007) THES – QS World University Rankings 2007. QS TopUniversities. http://www.topuniversities.com/news/article/thes_qs_world_university_rankings_2007_basic_explanation_of_key_enhancements_in_methodology_for_2/

WoW!ter.net : the scope of this blog

When I started blogging, I was heavily interested in developments with search engines and to a lesser extent in libraries, library systems or information science. In due course my attention shifted away from websearch. Not that I didn’t follow it, but it was really difficult to stay abreast of the avalanche of information on this subject. Since September 2005 the onset of web 2.0 and the role of web 2.0 in librarianship has become one of the recurring memes on my Dutch blog. This meme will return on this blog for sure. I will attempt to point out to the rest of the world what is happening in the Dutch library world with respect to innovative library developments. Let them be 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever.
Another theme that has my sincere interest is the review and comparison of new developments of library systems, either library content management systems or article and Indexing databases. The review of these developments will take place here, rather than on my Ducht blog. I assume that for most of the (Dutch) academic librarians the language thing won’t be a problem too much.
Another recurrent theme on my Dutch blog is the development of the Duch Biblioblogosphere. That subject is not likely to be covered here in a similar way, but development of the blogosphere as such is a subject that has my interest that will receive some attention.
Last but not least another of my hobby horses is scientometrics. Research evaluation based on bibliometrics.

The first post on this blog : The language thing revisited 2

The parallel blog to this blog was started in May 2005. From the onset it was a blog written in Dutch. At the beginning I thought it was more important to plough back information from the English library log world into the Dutch biblioblogosphere. However it soon proved interesting to post in English as well. I felt a strong need to interact with the English liblog world as well. So for some period of time my blog at wowter.nl was bilingual.
The title of this post refers back to a discussion –in blogs- I had with Ruminations and In between. Interesting to note how my opinion has changed now. Since it seems to me that you can’t really combine two languages on a single blog. In the end a bilingual blog proved to be unsatisfactory. I had the feeling the blog was becoming less attractive to a part of my Dutch Audience. Posts in English were visited less frequently than Dutch posts. On the other hand, being primarily a Dutch, or bilingual Blog It seemed to me that I did not attract a steady English speaking audience. This is also affected by the observation that a mainly Dutch blog will rank less favourable in Google.com, so the discoverability of the English blog posts was far lower than Dutch post by Google.nl.
So for quite some time I had the idea to circumvent all these problems and start a separate blog in English, on a more international domain. I registered wowter.net already quite some time ago, but I never got around to make a start. I finally didn’t bother too much about a super perfect layout and here it is.
I finally made the start.