Webometrics: Ranking Web of Universities 2nd 2014 Edition


The Webometrics rankings are based on web-derived data. They cover more than 22,000 institutions, far more than conventional rankings, and should always be consulted as a check on the plausibility of the others. They are, however, extremely volatile and that reduces their reliability considerably.


Cybermetrics Lab, CSIC, Madrid


Global. 22,000+ institutions.


The current composite indicator is now built as follows:

Visibility (50%)

IMPACT. The quality of the contents is evaluated through a “virtual referendum”, counting all the external inlinks that the University webdomain receives from third parties. Those links are recognizing the institutioof conventinal prestige, the academic performance, the value of the information, and the usefulness of the services as introduced in the webpages according to the criteria of millions of web editors from all over the world. The link visibility data is collected from the two most important providers of this information:Majestic SEO and ahrefs. Both use their own crawlers, generating different databases that should be used jointly for filling gaps or correcting mistakes. The indicator is the product of square root of the number of backlinks and the number of domainsoriginating those backlinks, so it is not only important the link popularity but even more the link diversity. The maximum of the normalized results is the impact indicator.

Activity (50%)

PRESENCE (1/3). The total number of webpages hosted in the main webdomain (including all the subdomains and directories) of the university as indexed by the largest commercial search engine (Google). It counts every webpage, including all the formats recognized individually by Google, both static and dynamic pages and other rich files. It is not possible to have a strong presence without the contribution of everybody in the organization as the top contenders are already able to publish millions of webpages. Having additional domains or alternative central ones for foreign languages or marketing purposes penalizes in this indicator and it is also very confusing for external users.

OPENNESS (1/3). The global effort to set up institutional research repositories is explicitly recognized in this indicator that takes into account the number of rich files (pdf, doc, docx, ppt) published in dedicated websites according to the academic search engine Google Scholar. Both the total files Both the total records and those with correctly formed file names are considered (for example, the Adobe Acrobat files should end with the suffix .pdf). The objective is to consider recent publications that now are those published between 2008 and 2012 (new period).

EXCELLENCE (1/3). The academic papers published in high impact international journals are playing a very important role in the ranking of Universities. Using simply the total number of papers can be misleading, so we are restricting the indicator to only those excellent publications, i.e. the university scientific output being part of the 10% most cited papers in their respective scientific fields. Although this is a measure of high quality output of research institutions, the data provider Scimago groupsupplied non-zero values for more than 5200 universities (period 2003-2010). In future editions it is intended to match the counting periods between Scholar and Scimago sources.
Top Ten

1.    Harvard University
2.    MIT
3.    Stanford University
4.    Cornell University
5.    University of Michigan
6.    University of California Berkeley
7=   Columbia University
8=   University of Washington
9.    University of Minnesota
10.  University of Pennsylvania

Countries with Universities in the Top Hundred

USA                      66
Canada                  7
UK                          4  
Germany                3
China                      3
Japan                     2
Switzerland            2
Netherlands           1
Australia                1
Italy                         1
South Korea          1
Taiwan                   1 
Belgium                 1
Hong Kong            1
Brazil                      1 
Austria                   1
Czech Republic    1
Singapore             1        
Mexico                   1

Top Ranked in Region

USA:                             Harvard
Canada:                       Toronto
Latin America:             Sao Paulo
Caribbean                    University of the West Indes
Europe:                        Oxford
Africa:                           University of Cape Town
Asia:                             Seoul National University
South Asia                   IIT Bombay
Southeast Asia           National University of Singapore
Middle East:                Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Arab World:                 King Saud University
Oceania                       Melbourne

Noise Index
Average position change of universities in the top 20 in 2013:



Center for World University Rankings         —  0.90
Shanghai Rankings (ARWU): 2011-12      —  0.15
Shanghai Rankings (ARWU) 2012-13       —  0.25
THE WUR:  2012-13                                    —  1.20
QS  WUR    2012-13                                    —  1.70  

Average position change of universities in the top 100 in 2013



Center for World University Rankings               —  10.59 
 Shanghai Rankings (ARWU): 2011-12               —  2.01
 Shanghai Rankings   2012-13                            —  1.66
THE WUR:  2012-13                                            —   5.36
QS  WUR    2012-13                                            —   3.97