Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
The interest in global university rankings has grown significantly in the last 10 years. The use of just a handful of indicators, the ease of interpretation of the information they contain and the furtherance of inter-university competition and comparability are some of the factors that have popularised their implementation. However, at the same time their critics have identified some conceptual, technical and methodological issues. This paper addresses three such issues that have prompted intense methodological debate around university rankings: replicability of results, relevance of indicators and data retrieval. It also proposes a tool for estimating the scores for the two indicators of the greatest interest for most universities (Papers published in Nature or Science and Papers listed in the WoS). It reports on an alternative method developed to calculate any university's score in the two most significant Shanghai ranking indicators. One of the foremost features of the proposed method is that the inputs needed are readily available to policymakers, academic authorities, students and other stakeholders and can be applied directly. Furthermore, with this model, scores can also be estimated for universities not listed among the first 500 in the Shanghai ranking.
international university rankings; research evaluation; shanghai ranking.