Ruth’s Rankings News Flash! U-Multirank version 3 and New Subject Rankings


On 4th April 2016 U-Multirank issued a press release announcing its third global university rankings. The release includes a summary of the results.  In June 2015, Ruth’s Rankings 12 covered U-Multirank’s second global rankings and left the judgment of the usefulness of the tool up to you.

The latest iteration has added about 100 universities and seven countries, bringing the totals to about 1,300 universities and 93 countries.  While they say that they have the largest number of universities, if quantity is what you are looking for, Webometrics has over 24,000 institutions.

We focused on “Readymade” rankings in RR 12.  At this point, only Readymade research is available and other readymades will be released over the course of the year.

The press release has links to a couple of features I have not been able to locate directly on the website.  One is a list of all universities included. Compared to Ruth’s Rankings 18, only 27 Australian universities and five New Zealand universities are included.

The second new feature contains ten lists of top 25 performers by selected indicators across U-Multirank’s five dimensions.

Research:  Number of research publications; top cited papers, interdisciplinary research (from Web of Science; no fractionalized counts).

Knowledge transfer:  Co-publications with industrial partners; patents awarded (size normalized); income from continuing education (percent)

International orientation:  Student mobility; international joint publications

Regional engagement:  Regional joint publications

Teaching & Learning:  Student-staff ratio in sciences (mathematics, chemistry, biology)

U-Multirank uses Incites (Web of Science) data.  I used InCites to spot-check some of the highly rated institutions whose names were unfamiliar to me.  I also looked at their composite research Readymade scores and assigned a five to an A and a one to an E.  Here are two examples of scoring.  Which really is tops in the category?

Example 1:   University of Liechtenstein is number two in percent of international joint publications, with a score of A. The U-Multirank analysis states that “The list of the 25 top performers does not include any US universities; their major partners in research cooperation are mostly other US universities.”    The University has a composite score or 2.43.  Again, using Incites data,   Rockefeller University, the overall top ranked research university also has a score of A for this category and a composite of 4.71, but does not make the top 25.  Liechtenstein has about 400 documents in this category from 2010-2014 while the U.S has almost seven million.

Example 2:  Another interesting category is income from continuing education, “the percentage of the university’s total revenues that is generated from delivering continuous professional development courses and training.”  Top ranked institutions, such as Siberian Institute of Business or Federal University of Agriculture Nigeria have no research publications.

In using the indicators, it is important to check the definitions and results and see if the university is contributing its internal data. My conclusion has not changed since I first examined U-Multirank.  Whether this is useful or not is up to you.

New Subject Rankings- THE (Times Higher Ed)

World University Rankings by Subject – Times Higher Education

THE updated its subject rankings on 6 April 2016.

QS has been updating its top universities by subject over the course of the year. It added Civil engineering on 5 April 2016.

We will incorporate these new subject rankings into our next Ruth’s Rankings Article, Part 2 of Australia and New Zealand, where we look at the international subject rankings, commercial subject rankings and underlying outputs from SciVal and InCites.

Ruth’s Rankings News Flash! is written by Ruth A. Pagell, currently an adjunct faculty [teaching] in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii.   Before joining UH, she was the founding librarian of the Li Ka Shing Library at Singapore Management University.  She has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of librarianship, including contributing articles to ACCESS –