Dodgy Publications Boost China's Science Stature

(MENAFN- Asia Times) University leaders pay close attention to comparative rankings such as those offered by Times Higher Education , ShanghaiRanking Consultancy and others . Rankings influence student matriculation numbers, attract talented faculty and justify donations from wealthy donors . University leaders rail against them , and some schools“withdraw” from them , but rankings are influential.

A radical shift in the data underlying rankings is about to upend the rankings world – largely in favor of China's position.

For instance, in early 2024, the Leiden University Center for Science and Technology Studies CWTS group issued new university rankings that add open-data sources to the traditional curated list of elite journals that has been the standard. The results show a world turned upside down for university rankings.

Where once the list of universities with the highest scientific impact would have been Oxford, Stanford, Harvard and MIT, the new top 10 list of universities with high scientific impact includes eight universities from China. In the West, only Harvard and the University of Toronto garner top-10 spots.

What does this transformation mean for understanding scholarly excellence? I study the global research system and its contribution to social welfare. China's swift progress in science and technology , propelled by investments in research and university strength, has alarmed the United States and other nations . Concerns are mounting that the US may be losing its competitive advantage to an assertive rival, with potential implications for national security, economic standing and global influence. These new rankings will likely raise even more alarm.


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