Leiden Ranking: multiple criteria, multiple winners

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Which Dutch universities have the best scores when it comes to scientific impact, gender equality and open access? The Leiden Ranking has multiple winners because a university’s performance can be measured in different ways.

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For the seventh year in a row, the compilers of the Leiden Ranking continue to do things differently compared to other rankings. Instead of coming up with a single winner, they invite their readership to discover which educational institutions score highest by applying different kinds of data and criteria.

They leave aside the universities’ reputations and teaching quality. Instead, they put the emphasis on their impact. The impact is calculated based on the number of times an article has been cited in other articles. Two other metrics used are the number of articles published by female authors and the number of open-access publications.

Impact
In terms of scientific impact, Utrecht University scores well: on average 8.1 percent of their publications rank among the top 5 percent in the world. In the Netherlands, it is by far the university with the highest number of publications.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ranks second among the Dutch universities (7.9 percent), with Wageningen University & Research taking third place (7.7 percent).

But the top of the ranking looks quite different if one considers the percentage of publications among the best 1 percent in the world. In that case, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam emerges as the top scorer (1.8 percent), pretty much tied with Utrecht University (also 1.8 percent).

Gender
The ranking also allows you to look at the number of publications by male or female authors. Nowhere in the Netherlands do women come out on top compared to their male peers. VU Amsterdam scores highest on female authorship with 41.8 percent, followed closely by Erasmus University Rotterdam with 40.9 percent, while the Delft University of Technology scores lowest on this criterion with a mere 17.7 percent.

It’s worth noting that of the 1,318 universities ranked worldwide, only 21 have more female-authored than male-authored publications. The Medical University of Bialystok in Poland leads the way with 59.3 percent.

Collaboration
When it comes to collaboration, VU Amsterdam is once again riding high in the ranking: 91.7 percent of their publications were written collaboratively with other institutes. Not a single Dutch university ranked under 80 percent, with TU Delft bringing up the rear at 81.6 percent.

Open Access
According to the Leiden Ranking, the University of Groningen has the best score when it comes to open access, having made 87.8 percent of its publications freely accessible. Leiden University and Maastricht University both score 83.1 percent.

Internationally, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has the most accessible publications (94 percent). At the bottom of the open-access list are universities in India and Iran.

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