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Release of the Leiden Ranking Open Edition

January 30th, 2024

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The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University, in collaboration with the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI), Sesame Open Science and OurResearch, have today launched the new Leiden Ranking Open Edition, based on open and reproducible data, providing a transparency and rigor absent from traditional ranking systems.

The new ranking system is an experiment, testing the capacity of a new generation of data sources - in particular OpenAlex, provided by OurResearch - to deliver the coverage and quality of data required for these important analytics.

CWTS has long been a leader in the provision of rigorous and transparent research analytics, as has recently also been attested by the Rethinking the Rankings exercise conducted by the International Network of Research Management Societies.

Director of CWTS and architect of the Leiden Ranking, Professor Ludo Waltman said “The reputation of CWTS is built on credible and methodologically rigorous assessments. Using open and publicly available data to make our analytics transparent, reproducible and auditable is the next obvious step.”

Co-founder and Director of OurResearch Jason Priem said “We are proud of the work we have done on OpenAlex, building a world-class data resource that is fully open from top to bottom. Collaborating with the Open Leiden Ranking team has tested our systems and helped us take them to the next level”. Dr Nees Jan van Eck, head of the data science team at CWTS, said “we have been impressed by the richness of the data in OpenAlex, and more importantly by the willingness of the team to work with us to make the data even better.”

This shift is more than just a change in data sources from opaque and proprietary to open and transparent, as Professor Lucy Montgomery, co-lead of COKI, notes. “The shift to open data is important, but perhaps even bigger is the move to open systems, where we are all part of the process of improving this data. Universities can now provide corrections and clarifications with the knowledge that they are improving datasets available to everyone. Open data is turbocharging innovation. With the growth of AI it is crucial for universities to be confident that they are not putting their faith in black box systems.”

COKI, along with Dr Bianca Kramer of Sesame Open Science, are supporting CWTS in the transition to open data, leveraging their expertise in cloud provisioning of open data and research communications. Professor Cameron Neylon, co-lead of COKI, notes “This is just the beginning. The Leiden Ranking Open Edition is a big step, and with the release of the underlying data new kinds of research evaluation become possible.” Bianca Kramer comments “The use of open data fits in a wider discussion on responsible use of university rankings. This can be a step towards more diversity in perspectives, and more autonomy for universities in how they want to use these data.”

Professor Waltman comments “The world of research evaluation and rankings is changing. Transparency and openness are critical aspects of the change we need to ensure that those evaluation systems are fit for purpose into the future”.

Learn more about the Leiden Ranking Open Edition

Would you like to learn more about the Leiden Ranking Open Edition? Then you can find an in-depth introduction in this blog post.

CWTS is also organizing two webinars for users and anyone else interested in the Leiden Ranking Open Edition. The webinars will consist of a short presentation, reflections by an external expert, and a Q&A in which participants can ask questions. If you are interested, make sure to sign up for one of the webinars:

6 February 2024, 10-11h CET (with Amélie Church from Sorbonne University as external expert)
9 February 2024, 15-16h CET (with Jeroen Bosman from the University of Utrecht as external expert)

We also invite you to reach out to us using the contact form on the website of the Leiden Ranking Open Edition. We appreciate your comments and feedback on the Open Edition.

Do you want to start working yourself with open bibliometric data sources such as OpenAlex? Then you may consider signing up for the course Scientometrics Using Open Data organized by CWTS, COKI, and Sesame Open Science. The next edition of this online course takes place from 25 March to 28 March 2024.

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