• Definition of University

    When benchmarking university research performance the data used must represent similar, meaningful entities in order for comparisons to be of value. There would be little sense, for example, in comparing the research output of a single university with that of an entire university system. Internationally there is currently no standard for identifying what is and what is not a component part of a university. Indeed there is not even a standard definition of the term university. Thus a definitional framework for the concept of university is a prerequisite to carrying out any useful benchmarking exercise. To address this need, the GRBS has formulated a definition of university framed around the fundamental operational and organizational features central to the concept of university as a research entity.Click here to download the details.
  • Selection of universities

    Universities are selected for inclusion in GRBS by examining research output in the 4-year window at two levels. First in each of the third level subject areas the universities with the highest number of publications is identified. For Asia-Pacific the top 50 are taken and the US & Canada the top 40 are taken. The different depths are due to the differences in the sizes of the regions. Then in each category a minimum cut-off of 50 publications is applied for statistical reasons so that universities with fewer than 50 publications in the 4-year window in that subject area are not included in the list. In addition, the 200 universities with the highest number of publications are identified in broader 2nd level categories. The reason is to include universities that have significant publication output in a broad category but not in any of its subareas. This results in adding a few additional universities since most are captured by searching the third level areas. The set of universities included in GRBS is then the union of all these resulting subject area lists. Any university that appears in at least one list is included in GRBS and analysed in all subject areas. In this way the GRBS is able to recognize universities that have particular niche strengths.


The GRBS includes the following indicators:

Performance Indicators

The following indicators are used for university rating.
  • Total Pubs:

    Total number of publications during a 4-year time window
  • %Pubs in Top 25% SNIP:

    Percentage of Total Pubs published in source titles that are within top 25% of that subject area, based on the SNIP value of the last year in the time window.
  • Total Cites:

 Total number of citations within a 4-year time window to papers published in that time window.
  • % Pubs in top 25% Highly Cited:

Percentage of publications within the 4-year time window that are within top 25% highly cited publications of that subject area. Citations are counted within the 4-year time window.
  • H-Index (4 years):


 A university having 4-year h-index of X means that at least X of their publications (during that 4-year window) have no less than X publications citing them (during that window). A 4-year h-index of a university is computed for a particular subject area. A complete definition of h-index can be found at here.

Internationality Indicators:

The following indicators are used to benchmark internationality of research conducted at the university.

    • Internationally Co-authored Publications:

      Number of publications in the 4-year window that are written in collaboration with at least one researcher from outside the country in which university in located.
    • Percent International Collaboration:

      Percentage of Total Publications with international co-authorship
    • Total Citations of Internationally Coauthored Publications:

 Total number of citations received within the 4-year window by internationally coauthored publications in the 4-year window.
    • International Citations:

 Citations received from papers authored (only) by researchers from outside the country in which a given university is located. This is a strong definition of international citations so that citations from internationally co-authored publications are not counted.
    • Percent International Citations:

 Percentage of International Citations relative to Total Citations.
    • International Citations of Internationally Co-authored Publications:

 International citations received by Internationally Co-authored Publications.
    • International Impact:

 Measure of the impact a university's research is having outside the country in which it is located. It is defined as the ratio of International Citations to the total number of references made by the papers in a given field which are authored (only) by researchers from outside the country in which the university is located. The denominator normalizes for the size of the market of citations outside the country.