The autumn of 2023 marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the Round University Ranking (RUR), as we introduce our innovative Narrow Subject Rankings, aimed at providing key stakeholders with a more granular perspective on the quality of higher education and research institutions across the globe. This novel approach leverages a powerful data source known as Lens, which is pivotal in shaping these subject rankings. In this article, we delve into the underlying methodology of the RUR Narrow Subject Rankings, shedding light on the key factors that contribute to their development and utility.

The Significance of Lens Data

The foundation of the RUR Narrow Subject Rankings is rooted in Lens data, a comprehensive repository of academic and research-related information

. Lens is renowned for its capacity to encompass a wide array of scholarly output, making it an invaluable resource for benchmarking and evaluating the performance of academic institutions. As a platform, Lens captures a vast spectrum of research publications, patents, and academic data, thereby ensuring that our subject rankings are built on robust, multi-faceted information.

Indicators Driving RUR Narrow Subject Rankings

The RUR Narrow Subject Rankings rely on five essential indicators to assess the performance and impact of universities within specific subject areas:

  1. Number of Papers: This indicator evaluates the volume of academic publications produced by an institution within a given subject area. It signifies the institution's research productivity within the subject.
  2. Number of Citations: The number of citations received by an institution's research outputs in a specific subject area reflects the impact and influence of their scholarly contributions within the academic community.
  3. Citations per Papers: This metric assesses the average number of citations that an institution's research papers receive, providing insight into the relative quality and impact of their work within the subject.
  4. Number of Citing Patents: The number of patents citing an institution's research signifies the practical applications and innovations resulting from their work, illustrating their impact on real-world problem-solving and technological advancement.
  5. Number of Highly Cited Papers: This indicator measures the prevalence of an institution's research papers in lists of highly cited works, indicating their significance and recognition within the academic community.

Key Specifications of RUR Narrow Subject Rankings Methodology

The development of the RUR Narrow Subject Rankings adheres to a set of specific principles:

  1. ASJR Classification Scheme: The ASJR (American Standards for Journals and Research) Classification scheme is employed to categorize data from Lens into precise subject areas. This classification system ensures that data is structured and evaluated in a manner that aligns with the unique characteristics of each subject domain.
  2. Time Period Consideration: The data collection period for the RUR Narrow Subject Rankings spans from 2017 to 2021, encompassing a five-year window. During this period, both the number of publications and citations are quantified, allowing for a comprehensive assessment of an institution's research output and impact.
  3. Publication Types: Several publication types from Lens contribute to the rankings, including Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Books, Conference Proceedings Articles, Dissertations, Reports, Conference Proceedings, and Reviews. By considering a diverse range of publication types, the methodology captures the full spectrum of scholarly activities undertaken by universities within specific subject areas.

In summary, the RUR 2023 Narrow Subject Rankings represent a substantial leap forward in the assessment of academic institutions worldwide. Rooted in the robust data from Lens, and with a keen focus on a well-defined set of indicators and meticulous methodology, these rankings offer a nuanced perspective on the strengths and contributions of universities across various subject domains, thereby empowering stakeholders with the information necessary for informed decision-making and academic advancement.