Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies, based in the Netherlands, ranked UCSB eighth in the world according to scientific performance and research at universities across the globe.

The Leiden ranking is conducted every year and is used to measure the scientific impact of universities from all over the world, in addition to their involvement in scientific collaboration. UCSB’s eighth place ranking — which is out of 750 other ranked colleges worldwide — marked a drop from last year’s ranking, when the university was found to be second out of 500.

This year, Leiden University increased the number of universities on its list and expanded the fields of science surveyed.

According to the Centre for Science and Technology Studies website, the Leiden ranking differentiates itself by placing weight on a university’s scientific impact, rather than on its reputational surveys. Universities are ranked according to how they measure up to indicators of ‘Impact’ and ‘Collaboration.’

The Impact score, according to the Leiden University website, looks at the average number of research citations from a particular university that are cited in academic journals, while also taking into consideration the caliber of these journals.

Components of the Collaboration score include how many inter-institutional, collaborative publications the university has produced as well as the quality and number of international collaborative publications, collaborative publications with industry, proportion of short-distance collaborative publications and proportion of long-distance collaborative publications.

Dr. Ludo Waltman, a researcher at Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies, said the ranking procedure focuses on identifying frequently cited top publications.

“For each university, we identify all publications in the Web of Science database,” said Waltman said in an email. “For each publication, we determine whether or not it belongs to the top 10 percent most frequently cited publications in its field. Publications in the top 10 percent of their field are considered to be frequently cited.”

According to Waltman, once that category is established, the Centre calculates what proportion of all university publications the frequently cited top publications consist of.

“For each university, we calculate the percentage of frequently cited publications,” Waltman said in an email. “Universities are ranked based on their percentage of frequently cited publications.”


A version of this story appeared on page 1 of Wednesday, May 7, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.