World universities ranked according their presence on the Web: On the foothill of the Béjhar mountain lay the green campus of Koya University in the city of Koya, which is 1.0 hr drive to the East of the regional capital Erbil (Arbil, Hewlér) in Kurdistan Region in. Iraq. Its campus has been carefully laid out to embrace the beautiful high mountainous nature.
The Koya University was established in 2003 and has developed noticeably since then. In 2010, following reforms in Higher Education Koya University was restructured from colleges to faculty systems to enhance the interactions between similar academic fields. Today the University has 4 faculties -Engineering, Sciences and Health, Humanities and Social Sciences, Education and a School of Medicine which consist of 25 departments in different fields, such as Petroleum Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Clinical Psychology, Social Science and Medical Microbiology as well as Sport Education.
In early 2012 office of Vice President for Scientific affairs introduced a long term strategy for creating an e-Smart all inclusive interactive university with global impacts. The strategy included the process a firm electronic foundation has been laid for running Koya University's inclusive communication which is e-enabling all members of our academic community. The created system allowed academic members to experience self-promotion with unique academic values. Koya University have developed and applied what needed for an advanced self-promoting academic portfolio and Continuous Academic Development (CAD) and helped all member to understand and adapt such a strategy. This strategy put students quality and success at the core of all vision, mission and values of the University. This means teachers can use the system as a means to enhance their academic presence or visibility and also to strengthen their academic relations with their students as well as creating academic footprint with academic impact.
Dr. Dilan M. Rostam the VP for Scientific Affairs at Koya University also says, “laying the foundation for such a strategy, for which the world leading institutes have worked hard and recorded a global reputation, has educational and teaching implications. Education and quality are two inseparable phenomena and at the present time, the purpose of education and teaching is not teaching students some basic numbers and facts, but to create professionals who are capable of having roles in building their community, as well as having problem solving mind with critical thinking. Our success is measurable and ranked. What we have achieved in last 4 years is accessible to a global view. Koya University has a global reliable Ranking Web in 2014for the first time, which put the university at the 4th best university in Kurdistan Region.”
The Koya University ranking has been measured in several Webometics Ranking reports and the latest National University Ranking (NUR) which all give us a positive indication of the level of success of the Koya University. When it comes to a viable virtual presence Koya University Ranked as the best University in Iraq globally and that is what the e-Smart strategy stand for.
The world universities are ranked in different classes namely, the Top 100, Top 500, Top 1000, Top 2000 and 2000+ globally. Let us understand the concept of “Ranking Web” and its value to universities ranked in 2000+ universities of the world by Webometrics. All Iraqi universities are included in this category and they are “Ranking Web” only.
CSIC is among the first basic research organizations in Europe. The CSIC consisted in 2006 of 126 centers and institutes distributed throughout Spain. CSIC is attached to the Ministry of Education and its main objective is to promote scientific research as to improve the progress of the scientific and technological level of the country which will contribute to increase the welfare of the citizens.
CSIC also plays an important role in the formation of new researchers and technicians in the different aspects of the science and the technology, and credit the value of the adamic presence to the universities in a transparent impartial regional and global ranking system.
Objective of webometrics.info
The original aim of the Ranking was to promote Web publication. Supporting Open Access initiatives, electronic access to scientific publications and to other academic material are our primary targets. However web indicators are very useful for ranking purposes too as they are not based on number of visits or page design but on the global performance and visibility of the universities.
As other rankings focused only on a few relevant aspects, specially research results, web indicators based ranking reflects better the whole picture, as many other activities of professors and researchers are showed by their web presence.
The Web covers not only only formal (e-journals, repositories) but also informal scholarly communication. Web publication is cheaper, maintaining the high standards of quality of peer review processes. It could also reach much larger potential audiences, offering access to scientific knowledge to researchers and institutions located in developing countries and also to third parties (economic, industrial, political or cultural stakeholders) in their own community.
The Webometrics ranking has a larger coverage than other similar rankings (see table below). The ranking is not only focused on research results but also in other indicators which may reflect better the global quality of the scholar and research institutions worldwide.
The Webometrics intends to motivate both institutions and scholars to have a web presence that reflect accurately their activities. If the web performance of an institution is below the expected position according to their academic excellence, university authorities should reconsider their web policy, promoting substantial increases of the volume and quality of their electronic publications.
Table 1: Comparison of the main World Universities' Rankings
Webometrics only publish a unique Ranking of Universities in every edition. The combination of indicators is the result of a careful investigation and it is not open to individual choosing by users without enough knowledge or expertise in this field. Other publishers provide series of very different rankings using exactly the same data in different fashions that is completely useless and very confusing.
Webometrics is a ranking of all the universities of the world, not only a few hundred institutions from the developed world. Of course, “World-class” universities usually are not small or very specialized institutions.
Webometrics is continuously researching for improving the ranking, changing or evolving the indicators and the weighting model to provide a better classification. It is a shame that a few rankings maintain stability between editions without correcting errors o tuning up indicators.
Webometrics does not use Web Impact Factor (WIF) that uses a links/webpages (L/W) ratio which is equally doomed by the mathematical artifacts that generates.
Webometrics uses an “a-priori” scientific model for building the composite indicator. Other rankings choose arbitrary weights for strongly dependent variables and even combine raw values with ratios. None of them follow a logical ratio between activity related and impact related variables, i.e. each group representing 50% of the total weighting. Referring to the individual variables, some of them have values larger than zero for only a few universities and others segregate universities according to differences so small that they are even lower than their error rates.
There are some misunderstanding about the methodology of ranking of the universities by Webometrics. Some circulate around the credibility of the ranking method. Although the top 2000 ranking of the world universities by Webometrics is coherent by listed ranking by other institute around world such as;
- Shanghai Ranking Consultancy
- The Times Higher Education World University Rankings
- QS World University Rankings
- CWUR World University Rankings
Let bring some of the FQA around the Ranking Web by Webometrics.
Is Webometrics a Ranking of university websites?
NO!. Web presence and visibility are used as indicators of global performance of a university. These indicators take into account the teaching commitment, the research results, the perceived international prestige, the links with the community, including industrial and economic sectors, of the university.
Web design is totally irrelevant as all the measurements are related to the contents published (quantity and quality), especially those open access documents of academic interest or relevance.
Usage statistics related to number of visits and visitors are weak indicators. The motivation and meaning of a visit is not correlated with the quality or usefulness of the contents. Most of the cases the visitors are local, usually the own students of the university, as can be shown in the sudden drops in the temporal distribution of visits during academic vacations. Clearly this indicator is strongly linked to the size of the institution (number of students).
The Methodology of Webometrics is based on the criteria that built as follows;
PRESENCE (1/3) [16.7%]. The global volume of contents published on the university web-domains as indexed by the largest commercial search engine (Google). It counts every web-page, including all the formats recognised individually by Google, both static and dynamic pages. For the purposes of the Ranking the web presence is a good proxy of the activities performed by the Universities in the 21st century. In case of Koya University, this is where the main website, faculty websites, departmental pages, Course Module Web Pages, TAPs, Portfolio, CADs and etc plays vital role.
OPENNESS (1/3) [16.7%]. The global effort to set up institutional research repositories is explicitly recognized in this indicator that takes into account the number of rich files (pdf, doc, docx, ppt) published in dedicated websites according to the academic search engine Google Scholar. Both the total files and the ones with correctly formed file names are considered. In this category Koya University has facilitated its community to provide their research work in their TAPs, Open source peer-reviewed publications via Aro the scientific Journal of the University as well as a repository for all university publication.
EXCELLENCE (1/3) [16.7%]. The academic papers published in high impact international journals are playing a very important role in the ranking of Universities. Deepening the commitment to this measurement started in previous edition we are introducing the Excellence indicator, the university scientific output being part of the 10% of the most cited papers in their respective scientific fields. Although this is a measure of high quality output of research institutions, the data provider Scimago group supplied non-zero values for more than 5200 universities (period 2003-2010).
IMPACT. The quality of the contents is evaluated through a "virtual referendum", counting all the external links that the University webdomain receives from third parties. Those links are recognizing the institutional prestige, the academic performance, the value of the information, and the usefulness of the services as introduced in the webpages according to the criteria of millions of web editors from all over the world. The link visibility data is collected from the two most important providers of this information: Majestic SEO and ahrefs, that provides an overlapping scenario very close to a true global coverage
Koya University ranking in the webometrics.info
The Webometrics ranks about (24000) worldwide universities.
In January 2016, Koya University rank is (11861) which is the 14th university in Iraq and 4th university in Kurdistan Region.
The following Table shows the Koya University Rank in KRG, Iraq and the world with respect to all Universities in KRG and Iraq; (https://goo.gl/StM22E)
The following table shows the Koya University Presence Rank (Criterion #1) in KRG, Iraq and the world with respect to all Universities in KRG and Iraq; (https://goo.gl/cm6FrD)
The following table shows the Koya University Impact Rank (Criterion #2) in KRG, Iraq and the world with respect to all Universities in KRG and Iraq; (https://goo.gl/wVHmEM)
The following table shows the Koya University Openness Rank (Criterion #3) in KRG, Iraq and the world with respect to all Universities in KRG and Iraq; (https://goo.gl/gttyU1)
The following table shows the Koya University Excellence Rank (Criterion #4) in KRG, Iraq and the world with respect to all Universities in KRG and Iraq; (https://goo.gl/5exhJa)
The table presented in the following links summarise Koya University achievement in a total and individual overview of webometrics.info criteria with respect to Kurdistan region Universities; https://goo.gl/WIcxX5
Concerning the first criterion of the Webometrics “Presence rank”;
- Koya Presence rank is (797)
- Koya Presence rank with respect to (290) British Universities, is (42)
- Koya Presence rank with respect to (3167) American Universities, is (141)
- Koya Presence rank with respect to (8992) Asian Universities, is (218)
The Following Figure shows the the Presence Rank of Koya Universities with respect to all Iraqi Universities: (https://goo.gl/zvjKvq)
Webometrics can be a good and reliable source for all universities in Kurdistan Region to measure their global impact and scientific presence. Nevertheless, academic will be able to promote their universities with measurable self-promotion of academic achievements and activities posted to their Teacher Academic Portfolio (TAP) which is accessible to global audience.
The MInistry of Higher Education (MHE) of KRG advised to use the Webometrics ranking to create a healthy academic competition. The academic footprint of individual academics can be used to real value of academic viability with scientific impact. The active TAP can provide immense value for visible academic promotion process at the regional universities. Nevertheless, the MHE uses the "Presence Rank" of the Webometrics for the National University Ranking in Kurdistan Region (NUR) as its criteria to rank the Kurdistan Universities.
- Ranking Web of Universities; http://www.webometrics.info/en
- National University Ranking - KRG; http://www.nur-krg.net
- Koya University; http://www.koyauniversity.org