Initiated by the Cybermetrics Lab, The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities is undertaken by Spain’s largest public research body garnering highly extensive results. The ranking system was initially started to prioritise and focus upon web publications, enabling users to electronically access publications and academic materials. As time passed, the goal posts shifted, and the ranking system went on to incorporate a number of indicators for a more extensive, comprehensive result.
Promoting larger coverage than many other ranking systems, Webometrics focuses on a fusion of research ranking and fellow indicators for maximised results that reflect the quality of a range of global institutions. The ranking system also works in tandem with universities, advising them on how to improve their ranking if it is presently less than desired. As an endless tidal wave of students, teachers and parents turn to ranking systems to make an informed choice, Webometrics advises students to consider a wide ranging selection of indicators (rather than just one ranking system) to make the correct choice for their educational future.
The various ranking criteria considered include size, which reflects the number of search engine pages sourced from four popular engines including Google, Bing Search and Yahoo. Visibility is also considered as are rich files and scholars. The ranking system remains the largest online academic ranking system dedicated to Higher Education institutions and has been in action since 2004. The lab performs a twice annual scientific exercise using an independent adjudicator to provide accurate information concerning the performance of global universities, focusing on their web presence and just how much of an impact they make.
Webometrics’ interest in establishing a ranking system has evolved over time but operates primarily to instigate academic change, ensure scholarly dedication and to establish long term strategies. The ranking does not intend to evaluate websites in terms of how eye-catching, popular or user-friendly they are, instead the ranking consolidates the performance of the university, conducting a thorough evaluation that considers activities, outputs and relevance.
The ranking system is designed to hold up a mirror that accurately reflects the potential of the university. Webometrics believes that the internet is an essential and integral tool for students as well as scholars to determine which schools are beneficial for them, but also to promote off-campus distance learning, engage with communities and help universities showcase their potential to attract dynamic talent pools, suitable funding and valuable resources. Their unique ranking system is published in order to help people make informed decisions, based off the expertise and knowledge of those conducting the research.
Webometrics ranks every university in the world thus making it an utterly comprehensive and thorough database. The ranking system does not segregate prestigious universities from the developing world’s institutions but organises an organic picture of all universities, ensuring that what they have to offer is not marginalised. Webometrics can also be trusted to continuously push the envelope when it comes to developing their indicators and weighting model to further improve their classifications systems.
Users of the ranking system can explore worldwide rankings from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceana and the Arab World as well as ranking by a pre-designated area of interest.