, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 159–178 | Cite as

URAP-TR: a national ranking for Turkish universities based on academic performance

  • Oğuzhan Alaşehir
  • Murat Perit Çakır
  • Cengiz Acartürk
  • Nazife Baykal
  • Ural Akbulut


This study describes the basic methodological approach and the results of URAP-TR, the first national ranking system for Turkish universities. URAP-TR is based on objective bibliometric data resources and includes both size-dependent and size-independent indicators that balance total academic performance with performance per capita measures. In the context of Turkish national university rankings, the paper discusses the implications of employing multiple size-independent and size-dependent indicators on national university rankings. Fine-grained ranking categories for Turkish universities are identified through an analysis of ranking results across multiple indicators.


National university ranking Higher education Academic performance Size dependency Ranking indicators 



The research reported in this article has been partially supported by METU Scientific Research Projects BAP-08-11-2012-008 ‘Academic Performance of World Universities’. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.


  1. Al, U., Şahiner, M., & Tonta, Y. (2006). Arts and humanities literature: Bibliometric characteristics of contributions by Turkish authors. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57(8), 1011–1022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baskurt, O. K. (2011). Time series analysis of publication counts of a university: What are the implications? Scientometrics, 86(3), 645–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bastedo, M. N., & Bowman, N. A. (2011). College rankings as an interorganizational dependency: Establishing the foundation for strategic and institutional accounts. Research in Higher Education, 52(1), 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergerson, A. A. (2009). Special Issue: College choice and access to college: Moving policy, research, and practice to the 21st Century. ASHE Higher Education Report, 35(4), 1–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowden, R. (2000). Fantasy higher education: University and college league tables. Quality in Higher Education, 6(1), 41–60.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bowman, N. A., & Bastedo, M. N. (2009). Getting on the front page: Organizational reputation, status signals, and the impact of US News and World Report on student decisions. Research in Higher Education, 50(5), 415–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Broto, C., & Ruiz, E. (2004). Estimation methods for stochastic volatility models: A survey. Journal of Economic Surveys, 18(5), 613–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cartter, A. M., & Sawyer, R. A. (1966). An assessment of quality in graduate education. Physics Today, 19, 75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cattell, J. M. (1906a). American men of science. Utrecht: Science Press.Google Scholar
  10. Cattell, J. M. (1906b). A statistical study of American men of science III. Science, 24(623), 732–742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dill, D. D., & Soo, M. (2005). Academic quality, league tables, and public policy: A cross-national analysis of university ranking systems. Higher Education, 49(4), 495–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DiStefano, C., Zhu, M., & Mindrila, D. (2009). Understanding and using factor scores: Considerations for the applied researcher. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 14(20), 1–11.Google Scholar
  13. Ellis, H. (1904). A study of British genius. London: Hurst and Blackett.Google Scholar
  14. Galton, F. (1875). English men of science: Their nature and nurture. New York City: D. Appleton.Google Scholar
  15. Gokceoglu, C., Okay, A. I., & Sezer, E. (2008). International earth science literature from Turkey—1970–2005: Trends and possible causes. Scientometrics, 74(3), 409–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Griffith, A., & Rask, K. (2007). The influence of the US News and World Report collegiate rankings on the matriculation decision of high-ability students: 1995–2004. Economics of Education Review, 26(2), 244–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gossart, C., & Özman, M. (2009). Co-authorship networks in social sciences: The case of Turkey. Scientometrics, 78(2), 323–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gülgöz, S., Yedekçioğlu, Ö. A., & Yurtsever, E. (2002). Turkey’s output in social science publications: 1970-1999. Scientometrics, 55(1), 103–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hazelkorn, E. (2007). The impact of league tables and ranking system on higher education decision making. Higher Education Management and Policy, 19, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hazelkorn, E. (2008). Learning to live with league tables and ranking: The experience of institutional leaders. Higher Education Policy, 21, 193–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hughes, R. M. (1925). A study of the graduate schools of America. Oxford, OH: Miami University.Google Scholar
  22. InCites. (2013). Total number of documents published by Turkey in 2007-2011 for ESI subject categories. Thomson Reuters.
  23. Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). (2007). College and university ranking systems: Global perspectives and American challenges. Washington, DC: IHEP.Google Scholar
  24. Jones, L. V., Lindzey, G., & Coggeshall, P. E. (1982). An assessment of research-doctorate programs in the United States: Social and behavioral sciences. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  25. Li, F., Yi, Y., Guo, X., & Qi, W. (2012). Performance evaluation of research universities in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan: Based on a two-dimensional approach. Scientometrics, 90(2), 531–542. doi: 10.1007/s11192-011-0544-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu, N. C., & Liu, L. (2005). University rankings in China. Higher Education in Europe, 30(2), 217–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lykes, R. W. (1975). Higher education and the United States Office of Education (1867-1953). Superintendent of Documents, U.S: Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  28. Maclean, A. H. H. (1900). Where we get our best men: Some statistics showing their nationalities, counties, towns, schools, universities, and other antecedents, 1837-1897. Marshall, Hamilton: Simpking.Google Scholar
  29. Maclean’s. (2012). Maclean’s ranking indicators – Maclean’s On Campus. Retrieved May 24, 2013, from
  30. Salmi, J., & Saroyan, A. (2007). League tables as policy instruments: Uses and misuses. Higher Education Management and Policy, 19, 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sponsler, B. A. (2009). The Role and Relevance of Rankings in Higher Education Policymaking. Institute for Higher Education Policy: Issue Brief.Google Scholar
  32. Stolz, I., Hendel, D. D., & Horn, A. S. (2010). Ranking of rankings: Benchmarking twenty-five higher education ranking systems in Europe. Higher Education, 60(5), 507–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Usher, A., & Savino, M. (2007). A global survey of university ranking and league tables. Higher Education in Europe, 32(1), 5–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Uzun, A. (1990). A quantitative analysis of Turkish publication output in physics between 1938–1987. Scientometrics, 19(1), 57–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Waltman, L., & Van Eck, N. J. (2012). The inconsistency of the h-index. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(2), 406–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Van Dyke, N. (2005). Twenty years of university report cards. Higher Education in Europe, 30(2), 103–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Van Raan, A. F. J. (2004). Measuring science. Capita selecta of current main issues. In H. F. Moed, W. Glänzel & U. Schmoch (Eds.), Handbook of quantitative science and technology research (pp. 19–50). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  38. Wegner, E. L. (1967). The relationship of college characteristics to graduation. Madison: University of Wisconsin–Madison.Google Scholar
  39. West, J., Bergstrom, T., & Bergstrom, C. T. (2010). Big Macs and Eigenfactor scores: Don’t let correlation coefficients fool you. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(9), 1800–1807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhang, J., & Cai, F. (2009). Food demand and nutritional elasticity in poor rural areas of China. In China’s Economy: Rural Reform and Agricultural Development (Vol. 1, pp. 309–335). World Scientific.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oğuzhan Alaşehir
    • 1
  • Murat Perit Çakır
    • 1
  • Cengiz Acartürk
    • 1
  • Nazife Baykal
    • 1
  • Ural Akbulut
    • 1
  1. 1.Informatics InstituteMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations