The Leiden Ranking, published by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) Leiden University, is highly respected by researchers and scholars. It measures publications in reputable journals and in resent years has included rankings of open access publication and gender distribution in research.
Recently, Andrea Reyes Elizondo and Mark Neijssel of CWTS gave a presentation for stakeholders that analysed the current rankings and explored possible future directions.
They note that despite many pernicious effects, university rankings are likely, in some form, to continue and to be the subject of intense debate. They outline the vision of Leiden Ranking and its commitment to responsible and meaningful metrics. This involves avoiding composite indicates, focussing entirely on research, and using accessible public data. They also use fractional counting which removes the bias towards medical research.
The presentation reports on a consultation exercise with stakeholders, including researchers and administrators from Europe, the USA, Latin America, and Oceania, although not from Asia or Africa. There are several examples of the negative impact of rankings and the ways in which they are often misused. They argue that indicators should include measures of productivity, local and regional impact, diversity, social responsibility, and engagement.
Looking ahead, the presentation notes that Leiden Ranking is a work in progress that strives to take account of stakeholders’ needs and current debates over research assessment.