Ranking goldmine

December 2, 2010

I'm surprised that no one at THE has noticed that the magazine is sitting on a mass of unanalysed citation data in its Index.

I'm able to confirm, based on swift and dirty back-of-the-envelope calculations, that the universities of Oxford and Cambridge are mentioned between two and five times more frequently than any other institution in every single issue. I look forward to the compilation of a ranking table based on these data (universities most/least mentioned, perhaps with a list of shame for those never mentioned - poor old University of Poppleton).

The trouble, of course, as with any citation data, is that the figures do not allow the reader to attribute a value to the citation: a given mention may concern university A or B's outstanding research environment, or its appalling widening-participation record.

Mike Baynham, University of Leeds.

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