The GRBS website contains two basic functionalities: rating and benchmarking.
Subject Area RatingSubject areas are organized into a hierarchy with 15 broad level and 251 detail level categories. University rating can be carried out in any subject category at any level. By default, equal weights are assigned to all indicators for rating universities across all subject categories. The rating function allows the user to define weights for all indicators, and the rating results are computed by adding the weighted sums of the normalized indicators, with the composite score normalized to range from 0 to 100. Results are displayed according to bands, with each band corresponding to a score range of 10: 100 - 90, 90 - 80, 80 - 70, etc. The universities within each band are displayed in alphabetical order. Banding is used rather than ranking since the exact place in a rank can be highly sensitive to minute differences in indicator values and tends to not be very meaningful in terms of judging performance.
Benchmarking (in progress...)The benchmarking function is intended to provide universities with data and analyses at a level that can be used to guide strategic decisions. The benchmarking section of the website provides the ability for universities to compare their performance against a chosen group of other universities along a large number of indicators. In addition to the indicators used for rating, the benchmarking function includes measures of international collaboration, international citations, and research funding. The research funding data is currently available only for US universities and only at the level of overall university. Since one objective of GRBS is to explore new ways of measuring university performance and to do this in an open manner with participation from the academic community encouraged, some experimental indicators are also included in the benchmarking function. These are: international impact and normalization of the indicators based on the number of authors affiliated with the university in the given subject area. See the section on Indicators for definitions of the full set of benchmarking indicators.
Since the benchmarking functionality provides direct comparison between a given university and a benchmarking group, this functionality is available only to those universities included in the system. Each university is given a number of accounts to create peer and aspiration benchmarking groups to view and compare the performance of the universities across several subject areas simultaneously. Once the university benchmarking groups are defined, they are saved and remain fixed until the next release of the results at which time users may choose to change the composition of the groups.