Monday, September 01, 2008

Major changes, Major problems

The blog is re-activated
One of the most frequent criticism the Ranking Web receive is the lower than expected ranks of very prestigious Universities. Imperial College or Technical University of Munich clearly appears delayed as compared with other Rankings.
The Ranking Web is based on an internet unit, the institutional domain. MIT domain is and all the calculations are obtained from pages under that domain. However, a few institutions maintain more than one domain for their pages, sometimes with a secondary domain even larger than the official central one. This situation penalizes their Web performance and it is also a bad practice because affect negatively their web visibility and it is very confusing for foreign visitors.
These web policies are clearly identified in the Notes section and we expect managers try to combine all the pages under only one domain. However, in the last months we discover that important Universities are changing their domains. Most of cases the objective is to improve the "marketing" quality of the acronym, making it easy to remember or more descriptive.
There is no problem on these changes. Clearly, the Illinois University at Urbana-Champaign is better described by than by the older Case Western Reserve University is now instead of The already mentioned Imperial College is referred as instead of the more obscure
So, what is the problem?. The most concerning issue about these changes is that many of them are applied to the full website very slowly, so during long periods many of the servers still maintains the old domain. The central website has the new address but other important sites, even the library and the repositories, still are available only under the old domain.
In a few cases the old domain is better ranked than the new one and we use the best positioned unit but the penalty is severe and misunderstandings are frequent.
During the last July 2008 edition a few examples are very conspicuous (new/old):
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (
  • Thomas Jefferson University (
  • Tech. Univ. Braunschweig (
  • Tech. Univ. Helsinki (
  • Univ Mediterranee (
  • Northeastern Univ (
  • Univ Catholique de Louvain (
  • Victoria Univ of Wellington (
Among others...

Do not forget to visit the Rankings Web of Hospitals, Repositories and Business Schools!.