Wilbers, Stefan, and Jelena Brankovic. "The emergence of university rankings: a historical‑sociological account." Higher Education, (2021).

This article applies a historical-sociological perspective to conceptualize university rankings as a historical phenomenon initially emerging in the United States, while being based on a specific understanding of organizational performance in the postwar decades.

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Pablo Markin

Community Manager, Open Research Community

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Go to the profile of Pablo Markin
8 days ago

To the extent that university rankings, as a globalized phenomenon presently, will strive to be objective and bias-free, these of necessity will be taking output levels and excellence indicators into account. Scholarly book and journal publication statistics and journal-level impact factors will likely serve as the grist for the corresponding  metrics. Whereas Open Access publishers and journals can be expected to promote alternative performance metrics, such as those for article-level impact, to those primarily closed-access counterparts use, whether these will be independently rivaling established hierarchies of academic excellence remains to be seen, as market-leading publishers add Open Access options and for newly launched journals it might require time to demonstrate ranking performance. Alternatively, flat-rate or cost-offsetting Open Access arrangements might have a stimulating effect on university output levels, due to their financial efficiency and behavioral effects.