National Taiwan University (NTU) yesterday defended itself against accusations from a Spanish world university ranking body that it had cheated in the annual rankings by including a large number of academic papers on its Web site by scholars not affiliated with the university.
NTU secretary-general Sebastian Liao (廖咸浩) told reporters that the school would never use such methods to influence the school’s performance in any university rankings.
Liao said the university did not pay too much attention to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities — a university lineup released by the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group affiliated with the biggest public research organization in Spain — otherwise the university would have taken advantage of the ranking to boost NTU’s profile.
The research group said on its Web site that it had reviewed more than 18,000 higher education institutions worldwide based on the number of Web pages related to the institutions recovered from four main search engines, the visibility of the institutions, the number of one-word files relevant to the institutions’ academic and publication activities and the number of research papers and citations for each academic field from researchers in the institutions.
NTU ranked 55th in the lineup last year and made major progress this year by climbing to 26th place.
The research group said in its latest news release that it was seeking to improve its visibility indicator to reflect the academic impact of the institutions more accurately.
“Stronger actions are scheduled for punishing the ranking [sic] of institutions using bad practices according to our criteria,” the group said.
“We have discovered several universities that are hosting large numbers of academic papers authored by scientist [sic] that do not belong to those institutions. This is not only unfair, but it clearly violates copyright of the involved papers,” the group said, naming NTU and the University of Sao Paulo as schools whose Web sites contain “suspicious files.”
Liao called the allegations “groundless,” adding that NTU had requested that the group elaborate on the matter and remove the references to NTU from the press release.
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