Saturday, October 04, 2008

Legacy and Output Metrics for Ranking Universities

Ponderer does the hard work of separating the metrics that measure current output from those that reward past achievements (Nobels, for example) in the ARWU rankings in natural sciences and mathematics [We had a nice discussion of ARWU here; my own views about ARWU are here]. He reports some very interesting findings:

perhaps not surprising to see Berkeley, Caltech, Harvard, Princeton, MIT on top - I believe that almost no matter how the rankings are conducted, those will be at the top. It is more interesting to see who follows the top 10.

Tokyo is a first outlier - gets a huge boost - only 34 in "Legacy", but 6th based on publication metrics.

Then we have a series of state schools: UCLA, Maryland, Colorado, Washington, Wisconsin, UCSD, Michigan, UCSB and Minnesota - all make top 20 based on output, despite being outside top 20 (except Colorado) based on legacy.

Ivies Cornell, Yale and U. Penn are much lower in this list than they typically appear in US News and other rankings. ...