15 May 2019

The Leiden Ranking, published by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University, has included data about scientific publications for several years. This year’s ranking contains lists relating to scientific impact, collaboration, gender and open access publication. The last two are new additions. The scientific impact lists show that Asian, especially Chinese, universities are producing an increasing percentage of the world’s scientific output. Although Harvard still holds first place for total publications there are now nine Chinese, one Korean and one Japanese university in the top twenty.

The situation looks different, however, when we examine measures of quality rather than quantity. The list of universities according to the proportion of publications in the top one per cent of journals is dominated by the USA led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), followed by Stanford and Harvard, and with the top ten places taken by American institutions.

The Ranking shows the steady progress of Chinese universities. Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), now in second place for number of publications over the period 2014-7, has risen from fourth place for the period 2015-17 and 33rd for 2006-9.

The performance of the university is less remarkable when it comes to measures of quality. SJTU is 20th for number of publications in the top 10% of journals. This is still a substantial improvement over the period 06 -09 when it was 96th.

The ranking is likely to attract a great deal of attention because of the new indicators. For number of publications in open access journals Harvard has the lead. Japanese universities do well here with Kyoto and Tokyo both in the top twenty and Chinese universities are way down the list.

The gender indicators show that Eastern European and Latin American universities have the largest number of female authors. The top five universities for female authors as a percentage of male and female authors are:

  1. Medical University of Lublin, Poland
  2. State University of Maringá, Brazil
  3. University of Belgrade, Serbia
  4. University of Gdańsk, Poland
  5. University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

CWTS Leiden Ranking

IREG Initiatives

The purpose of "IREG Inventory of International Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.


The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.


The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.


News from IREG Members

Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod listed in the global ranking of the world's best university websites Webometrics

According to the recent results of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, Lobachevsky University now ranks 1383rd in the world and 67th among university websites in Eastern and Central Europe.

QS organize Reimagine Education conference on 8-10 December 2019 in London

Reimagine Education is the global conference for those interested in pedagogical innovation, cutting edge education technology, and means by which graduate employability can be nurtured.

Yeditepe University in Turkey organize the YIRCoF’19 conference

The Yeditepe International Research Conference on Foresught and Futures will take place at Yeditepe University on 29-30 November, 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. The invited speaker are – Roberto Poli, UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems from University of Trento, Italy.

Members area

© 2018 IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence