Sunday, October 04, 2009

Prathap and Gupta on ranking Indian universities

Just like they ranked engineering and technology institutions sometime ago, they have now ranked Indian universities (pdf), based on research publications indexed in / by SCOPUS. [Hat tip: Seema Singh]

Just like the previous exercise, they use p-index as a composite measure of quality and quantity of publications. p-index is defined as [C2P](1/3), where P is the number of publications in a given period, and C is the number of citations in a three-year window immediately after the publication date.

The top five (along with their p-index values) are:

  1. University of Hyderabad (37)

  2. Delhi University (32.7)

  3. Panjab University (32.7)

  4. Jadavpur Univerisity (30.3)

  5. Banaras Hindu University (27.6)

Some observations:

  1. The p-index is not normalized by the number of faculty. Thus, it privileges bigger institutions with larger faculty strengths.

  2. In the top 25, one finds an interesting mix of Central Universities (UH, DU, BHU, JNU, AMU ...), State universities (Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, Jadavpur, Anna ...), medical institutions (CMC, Sanjay Gandhi PGIMS), and a science and tech university (Cochin U of S&T).

  3. Tamil Nadu has five institutions in the top 25: Madras, Anna, Annamalai, CMC and Madurai Kamaraj.

  4. Prathap and Gupta say, "... no private university has made it into this elite list." While Annamalai U and CMC Vellore may not be 'private' universities, they are not 'government' universities either.

  5. The contribution of the top 25 universities to the research output from India has remained roughly the same during the two five-year periods: 17.5% during 1999-2003 and 18.3% during 2004-08. From the data given by them, we can back-calculate the average number of publications from India during these two periods: about 25,350 during 1999-2003 and 41,000 during 2004-08.


  1. SS said...

    Is this a ranking of universities or of university science departments? Or is that distinction of no consequence?

  2. Abi said...

    @SS: The analysis is for entire universities, not just the science & tech departments.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Combine the Engineering Institutes and Universities rankings you will get the following overall ranking based on p-index:
    1. IISc (50.17)
    2. IITK (39.27)
    3. University of Hyderabad (37.0)
    4. IITB (36.73)
    5. IITKgp (35.37)
    6. Delhi University (32.7)
    7. Panjab University (32.7)
    8. IITD (32.51)
    9. Jadavpur University (30.3)
    10. IITM (29.09)

  4. Anonymous said...

    Abi: I think, it does NOT include social sciences. I just did a search in scopus for the papers came out from my university in 2009. There are 197, however, none of them are from social sciences. However, my university is known to have the strongest social science dept. in the country - it seems scopus doesn't do a good job for social sciences (or does it mean to do that?).

    It makes your observation no. 1 even more relevant, since the no. of science /tech faculties differ greatly in the top 10 universities

    I wonder why the authors didn't normalize the data.

  5. Abi said...

    @Anon (11:29): The authors say that they used data from "SCOPUS International multidisciplinary bibliographical database."

    Now, what you say -- "it seems SCOPUS doesn't do a good job for social sciences" -- may very well be the case. I haven't used SCOPUS much, and I have no idea about its coverage of social sciences and humanities.

    If its coverage is not all that great, then it points to yet another weakness of the proposal by Prathap and Gupta.

  6. Anonymous said...

    Check the parameter C/P for Indian Universities as well as Engg. and Technological Institutes including IISc and IITs, then you will know which university/institute has done well in last ten years. C/P should be regarded as quality indicator as it is normalised w.r.t. number of papers ( is not so much dependent on the number of active researchers!).
    And the winner is University of Hyderabad (HCU).
    C/P is perhaps the critic award for HCU!!!


  7. SS said...


    SCOPUS simply doesn't cover the Art& Humanities or even the Social Sciences the way it does the Sciences. Anyone who knows about SCOPUS will ask the fundamental question: why SCOPUS? And come up with obvious answers. This is a done deal.