New Ranking of Central and Institutional Repositories

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 18:47:27 +0000

The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities has created a new
Ranking of Repositories:

In the Webometrics announcement, appended below, a few rather striking facts
are overlooked:

Yes, the three first ranks go to "thematic" (i.e., discipline- or or
subject-based) Central Repositories (CRs): (1) Arxiv (Physics), (2) Repec
(Economics) and (3) E-Lis (Library Science). That is to be expected,
because such CRs are fed from institutions all over the world.

But the fourth-ranked repository -- and the first of the university-based
Institutional Repositories (IRs), displaying only its own institutional
output -- is (4) U Southampton EPrints (even though Southampton's
University rank is 77th).

Moreover, the fifteenth place repository -- and the first of the
department-based IRs -- is (15) U Southampton ECS EPrints (making it
10th ranked even relative to university-wide IRs!).

None of this is surprising: In 2000 Southampton created the world's
first free, OAI-compliant IR-creating software -- EPrints -- now used
(and imitated) worldwide.

But Southampton's ECS also adopted the world's first Green OA
self-archiving mandate, now also being emulated worldwide. And that
first mandate was a *departmental* mandate, which partly explains the
remarkably high rank of Southampton's ECS departmental IR.

But these repository rankings should be interpreted with caution,
because not all the CRs and IRs contain full-texts. Some only contain
metadata. Southampton's university-wide IR, although 4th among
repositories and 1st among IRs, is still mostly metadata, because the
university-wide mandate that U. Southampton has since adopted still has
not been officially announced or implemented (because the university had
been preparing for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise returns). As
soon as the mandate is implemented, that will change. (Southampton's ECS
departmental IR, in contrast, mandated since 2002, is already virtually
100% full-text.)

But the moral of the story is that what Southampton is right now
enjoying is not just the well-earned visibility of its research output,
but also a *competitive* advantage over other institutions, because of
its head-start, both in creating IRs and in adopting a mandate to fill
them. (This head-start is also reflected in Southampton's unusually high
University Metrics "G Factor," and probably in its University webometric
rank too.)

I am not saying all this by way of bragging! I am *begging* other
institutions to take advantage of the fact that it's still early days:
Get a competitive head start too -- by creating an IR, and, most important
of all, by adopting a Green OA self-archiving mandate!

Stevan Harnad

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 16:19:39 +0100
From: Isidro F. Aguillo <>
Subject: New Ranking of Repositories

The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities ( )
has been updated with data collected during January 2008.

The main new service offered is the Ranking of Repositories that presents
the best 200 ones of the world. The best ranked are three largest thematic
Open Access deposits: Arxiv, dedicated to physics and related sciences;
RePEc, a big effort being made by the economic science world; and E-LIS
committed to Library and Information Sciences and Documentation.

The [university] rankings
still show a worrisome academic digital divide between North American
universities and the European ones, as almost the 60% of the 200 first
positions are occupied by North American universities. On the first
positions of the ranking are MIT, Stanford and Harvard universities. The
University of Cambridge, which goes down the list until 27th position,
continues being the first European university that appears in the ranking
followed by Oxford and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of
Zurich. It is also worth to mention the good results obtained in general
by the Canadian universities that maintains several institutions very
well positioned.

Nordic universities like Helsinki and Uppsala universities continue to
improving their positions in the ranking. And also the universities of
Geneva, Amsterdam and Leipzig show an interesting progress.

Australian National University in Oceania and UNAM from Mexico in Latin
America are improving their positions as regional leaders but they are also
close to world leaders status.

Another interesting result observed is the improvement that Japanese
universities are experimenting. Tokyo and Kyoto universities are increasing
their position in the ranking which reflects the commitment of these
institutions to web publishing. Also, it is worth to mention the progress
that some Chinese universities like the National Taiwan University, and the
University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong are doing.

Regarding Research Councils there is also a predominance of North American
organizations, like the NIH and NASA in the 2 first positions, but the
European CNRS, Max Planck and CERN are among the top ten positions in our

Isidro F. Aguillo
Laboratorio de Cibermetrķa
Cybermetrics Lab
Joaquin Costa, 22
28002 Madrid. Spain

isidro --
+34-91-5635482 ext 313
Received on Fri Feb 08 2008 - 19:37:26 GMT

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