Despina Contopoulos-Ioannidis, MD

Publication Details

  • International ranking systems for universities and institutions: a critical appraisal BMC MEDICINE Ioannidis, J. P., Patsopoulos, N. A., Kavvoura, F. K., Tatsioni, A., Evangelou, E., Kouri, I., Contopoulos-Ioannidis, D. G., Liberopoulos, G. 2007; 5

    Abstract:

    Ranking of universities and institutions has attracted wide attention recently. Several systems have been proposed that attempt to rank academic institutions worldwide.We review the two most publicly visible ranking systems, the Shanghai Jiao Tong University 'Academic Ranking of World Universities' and the Times Higher Education Supplement 'World University Rankings' and also briefly review other ranking systems that use different criteria. We assess the construct validity for educational and research excellence and the measurement validity of each of the proposed ranking criteria, and try to identify generic challenges in international ranking of universities and institutions.None of the reviewed criteria for international ranking seems to have very good construct validity for both educational and research excellence, and most don't have very good construct validity even for just one of these two aspects of excellence. Measurement error for many items is also considerable or is not possible to determine due to lack of publication of the relevant data and methodology details. The concordance between the 2006 rankings by Shanghai and Times is modest at best, with only 133 universities shared in their top 200 lists. The examination of the existing international ranking systems suggests that generic challenges include adjustment for institutional size, definition of institutions, implications of average measurements of excellence versus measurements of extremes, adjustments for scientific field, time frame of measurement and allocation of credit for excellence.Naïve lists of international institutional rankings that do not address these fundamental challenges with transparent methods are misleading and should be abandoned. We make some suggestions on how focused and standardized evaluations of excellence could be improved and placed in proper context.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1741-7015-5-30

    View details for Web of Science ID 000252409300001

    View details for PubMedID 17961208

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