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Irreproducibility of the results of the Shanghai academic ranking of world universities


I discuss the difficulties that I encountered in reproducing the results of the Shanghai ranking of world universities. In the Shanghai ranking, the dependence between the score for the SCI indicator and the weighted number of considered articles obeys a power law, instead of the proportional dependence that is suggested by the official methodology of the ranking. Discrepancies from proportionality are also found in some of the scores for the N&S and Size indicators. This shows that the results of the Shanghai ranking cannot be reproduced, given raw data and the public methodology of the ranking.

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  2. R. Florian, Universităţile din România şi clasamentul Shanghai [Romanian universities and the Shanghai ranking; in Romanian]. Ad Astra 5, 2006,

  3.; another document presenting a slightly different methodology is also linked from the ranking homepage and is available at, but this latter one presents the methodology of the 2004 ranking, not of concern to us.





  8. Van Raan, A. F. J., Fatal attraction: Conceptual and methodological problems in the ranking of universities by bibliometric methods. Scientometrics, 62(1) (2005) 133–143.

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Correspondence to Răzvan V. Florian.

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Florian, R.V. Irreproducibility of the results of the Shanghai academic ranking of world universities. Scientometrics 72, 25–32 (2007).

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  • Academic Staff
  • Social Science Citation Index
  • Article Type
  • Size Indicator
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