UNIST has maintained its position as the top university in South Korea, according to the latest CWTS Leiden Ranking, released on May 17, 2018. This is the second consecutive year that UNIST has been crowned the top university in South Korea. The ranking has placed UNIST 52nd in the world, making it the only Korean university to be included in the top 100.
The Leiden Ranking is published by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University in the Netherlands and is based entirely on data provided by the Web of Science now run by Clarivate Analytics. The dataset only includes publications in English-language journals that have an international scope and reference other established journals. The ranking evaluates universities on the impact of research conducted by their scientists, as well as their involvement in scientific collaboration. It focuses strictly on citation impact, using a methodology that accounts for differences between scientific fields in citation and collaboration practices.
This year’s CWTS Leiden Ranking judged the top 938 universities worldwide. A total of 55 countries made the list. These universities are the ones that have produced at least 1,000 Web of Science indexed publications in the period 2013–2016. The CWTS Leiden World Rankings situates its emphasis primarily on scientific merit measured through citation impact and research excellence. The main criterion is the ‘Percentage of a university’s total papers that are in the top 10% most cited’ between 2013 and 2016.
The impact indicators in the Leiden Ranking can be calculated using either a full counting or a fractional counting method. While full counting method gives a full weight of one to each publication of a university, the fractional counting method leads to a more proper field normalization of impact indicators and therefore to fairer comparisons between universities active in different fields. For this reason, fractional counting is the preferred counting method for the impact indicators in the Leiden Ranking.
During the period of assessment, UNIST produced a total of 2,919 papers, amounting to a fractional score of 1431 — the bulk of which was in the physical science and engineering. UNIST published the most highly cited papers relative to its size in the following citation metrics on offer — the top 10% and 1%. About 15.2% of UNIST’s contribution was in the top 10% of highly cited papers, thereby retaining its position as Korea’s top university. This result was based on fractional counting and it was higher than those of POSTECH (11.3%), KAIST (11%), Seoul National Univesity (7.9%), and the University of Ulsan (7.5%).
The ranking also reported that about 1.3% of UNIST’s publications between 2013 and 2016, belong to the top 1% of highly cited papers. This again gives UNIST a reputation of being the No. 1 university in South Korea.
When they calculated impact indicators using fractional counting, UNIST has still remained strong at 52nd among the best universities in the world. The Rockefeller University (31.5%) has kept its coveted ranking as the world’s top university, with MIT (25.1%) in second place, Princeton University (22.5%) in third place, and Standford University (22.4%) coming in fourth.
The ranking also indicated that Harvard University in the United States is the top producer of scientific literature based on fractional counting for the eighth consecutive year. Harvard has published 71,634 articles in the period of 2013–2016, accumulating a fractional score of 33,045. Compared to 31.5% of Rockefeller’s contribution, about 22% of Harvard’s contribution was in the top 10% of highly cited papers.
“We are pleased to be recognized once again as Korea’s leading university,” says Professor In Cheol Bang (School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering), Dean of Planning and Research. “This is largely due to the brilliance of our students and the dedication of our outstandng faculty and researchers.”
“We are delighted to know that UNIST remains among the top 100 universities globally,” says President Mooyoung Jung of UNIST. “I am greatful to to our outstanding faculty and researchers, and our talented students, for their excellent efforts, and for the constant and unwavering support of the government, the National Assembly, Ulsan City, and the Ulju County.”