Out of the closet: Wouter Gerritsma and rankings

Published on
May 25, 2010


Wouter Gerritsma and rankings
Rankings are becoming increasingly more important within the university world. A university's position in the international rankings can be a reason for students and scientists to choose an institution for study or work. Particularly in Southeast Asia, these lists are highly valued. For this reason, a high ranking is important. However, achieving this ranking is much more difficult for a specialised university like Wageningen than it is for a general university with a medical faculty. In most rankings a university's position is influenced by, a.o. the number of scientific articles and citations tracked by databases such as the Web of Science and Scopus. On Wageningen UR’s website, you can find Wageningen UR's position in important rankings.

“Rankings and all the problems around them, you may safely say, is a pet topic of mine”, says information specialist Wouter Gerritsma. Within Wageningen UR Wouter is seen as an authority in this area and regularly lectures on the subject. A uniform affiliation is a requirement for recognition by the international rankings. Using examples, Wouter shows that uniform affiliation is really a problem. For instance, it turns out that an institute's name can be listed in 30 different ways. He says, “I’m convinced that if our scientists would give more consideration to using a uniform notation with their publications, Wageningen UR would score even higher in the rankings." There are guidelines for this, but not everyone is familiar with them or their importance is underestimated. During his lectures for Wageningen scientists, he notices the shocked reactions as he illustrates the problem with countless examples.

Wouter is a big supporter of a new information round within Wageningen UR that will clearly establish the standard citations of departments and organisations anew.

(Newsletter 5-2010)