As globalization drives rapid change in all aspects of research & development, international competition and collaboration have become high priority items on the agenda of most universities around the world. In this climate of competition and collaboration, ranking universities in terms of their performance has become a widely popular and debated research area. All universities need to know where they stand among other universities in the world in order to evaluate their current academic performance and to develop strategic plans that can help them strengthen and sustain their progress.
In an effort to address this need, several ranking systems have been proposed since 2003, including ARWU-Jiao Tong (China), Leiden (The Netherlands), TIMES (United Kingdom), and Webometrics (Spain), which rank universities worldwide based on various criteria. The use of bibliometric data obtained from open-access and credible information resources such as ISI (Information Sciences Institute) and Google Scholar has contributed to the objectivity of these ranking systems. Nevertheless, most ranking systems cover up to top 500 universities around the world, which mostly represents institutions located in developed countries. Universities from other countries around the world also deserve and need to know where they stand among other institutions at global, regional, and national levels. This motivated us to develop a ranking system that is more comprehensive in coverage, so that more universities will have a chance to observe the state of their academic progress at global and national levels. The figure below summarizes the main steps of our methodology, which is described further in corresponding web pages.