Designing a Composite Index for research performance evaluation at the national or regional level: ranking Central Universities in India
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It is now generally accepted that institutions of higher education and research, largely publicly funded, need to be subjected to some benchmarking process or performance evaluation. Currently there are several international ranking exercises that rank institutions at the global level, using a variety of performance criteria such as research publication data, citations, awards and reputation surveys etc. In these ranking exercises, the data are combined in specified ways to create an index which is then used to rank the institutions. These lists are generally limited to the top 500–1000 institutions in the world. Further, some criteria (e.g., the Nobel Prize), used in some of the ranking exercises, are not relevant for the large number of institutions that are in the medium range. In this paper we propose a multidimensional ‘Quality–Quantity’ Composite Index for a group of institutions using bibliometric data, that can be used for ranking and for decision making or policy purposes at the national or regional level. The index is applied here to rank Central Universities in India. The ranks obtained compare well with those obtained with the h-index and partially with the size-dependent Leiden ranking and University Ranking by Academic Performance. A generalized model for the index using other variables and variable weights is proposed.