, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 1101–1105 | Cite as

Which differences can be expected when two universities in the Leiden Ranking are compared? Some benchmarks for institutional research evaluations

  • Lutz Bornmann
  • Wolfgang Glänzel


The comparison of two universities in terms of bibliometric indicators frequently faces the problem of assessing the differences as meaningful or not. This Letter to the Editor proposes some benchmarks which can be used for supporting the interpretation of institutional differences.


Leiden Ranking Field-normalized indicator Score differences Characteristics scores and scales CSS 


  1. Bornmann, L., & Glänzel, W. (2017). Applying the CSS method to bibliometric indicators used in (university) rankings. Scientometrics, 110(2), 1077–1079. Scholar
  2. Bornmann, L., Mutz, R., & Daniel, H.-D. (2013). A multilevel-statistical reformulation of citation-based university rankings: The Leiden Ranking 2011/2012. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(8), 1649–1658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Glänzel, W., Debackere, K., & Thijs, B. (2016). Citation classes: A novel indicator base to classify scientific output. Retrieved October, 21, 2016, from
  4. Glänzel, W., & Schubert, A. (1988). Characteristic scores and scales in assessing citation impact. Journal of Information Science, 14(2), 123–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division for Science and Innovation StudiesAdministrative Headquarters of the Max Planck SocietyMunichGermany
  2. 2.ECOOM and Department of MSIKU LeuvenLouvainBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Science Policy and ScientometricsLibrary of the Hungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary

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