University rankings and the disciplinary profile of universities

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International university rankings have become an important tool for research policy makers and university managers in which to base their decisions. However, they present strong methodological and technical limitations that endanger the output of these decisions, threatening disciplinary diversification and neglecting national differences. This thesis analyzes these two specific aspects and propose visualization and science mapping methodologies as well as the use of national university rankings by fields as a means to surpass such limitations. My PhD research is intimately related with my participation on the Rankings I-UGR by fields and disciplines of Spanish universities project.


  • Title: Classifying and visualizing the disciplinary focus of universities: The invisible factor of university rankings
  • Supervisors: Evaristo Jiménez-Contreras & Emilio Delgado López-Cózar
  • External referees: Henk F. Moed, Juan Gorraiz
  • Examining Board: Domingo Docampo, Teodoro Luque-Martínez, Thed N. van Leeuwen, Clara Calero-Medina, Rafael Ruiz Pérez
  • Date of defense: July 14, 2014
  • Presentation: SlideShare PPT

Related publications

Robinson-Garcia N, Jiménez-Contreras E. Analyzing the Disciplinary Focus of Universities. Advances in Educational Marketing, Administration, and Leadership.:161-185. doi: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0819-9.ch009
Robinson-García N, Torres-Salinas D, Delgado López-Cózar E, Herrera F. An insight into the importance of national university rankings in an international context: the case of the I-UGR rankings of Spanish universities. Scientometrics. 2014;101(2):1309-1324. doi: 10.1007/s11192-014-1263-1
Robinson-García N, Calero-Medina C. What do university rankings by fields rank? Exploring discrepancies between the organizational structure of universities and bibliometric classifications. Scientometrics. 2013;98(3):1955-1970. doi: 10.1007/s11192-013-1157-7
Robinson-Garcia N, Moreno-Torres J, Torres-Salinas D, Delgado López-Cózar E, Herrera F. The role of national university rankings in an international context: the case of the I-UGR Rankings of Spanish Universities. . In: Vienna (Austria); 2014.
Robinson-García N, Rodríguez-Sánchez R, García JA, Torres-Salinas D, Fdez-Valdivia J. Análisis de redes de las universidades españolas de acuerdo a su perfil de publicación en revistas por áreas científicas. Rev esp doc cient. 2013;36(4):e027. doi: 10.3989/redc.2013.4.1042
García JA, Rodríguez-Sánchez R, Fdez-Valdivia J, Robinson-García N, Torres-Salinas D. Mapping academic institutions according to their journal publication profile: Spanish universities as a case study. J Am Soc Inf Sci Tec. 2012;63(11):2328-2340. doi: 10.1002/asi.22735
Torres-Salinas D, Robinson-García N, Jiménez-Contreras E, Herrera F, López-Cózar ED. On the use of biplot analysis for multivariate bibliometric and scientific indicators. J Am Soc Inf Sci Tec. 2013;64(7):1468-1479. doi: 10.1002/asi.22837