In the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2022 (THE ranking), Uppsala University fell 20 places, to 131st.  Lund University and Karolinska Institutet also dropped ranking.

The THE ranking consists of five main indicators, and initial analysis suggests that the drop in ranking is primarily due to the Citations indicator. The Citations indicator measures the number of citations in relation to the number of publications, taking into account the subject and year of publication. The University also saw a drop in the QS World University Rankings released in June 2021, specifically in terms of the Citations per faculty indicator. However, precisely how these ranking institutions measure citations is not wholly transparent.

On the other hand, the CWTS Leiden Ranking is more transparent and Uppsala University has dropped in the citation indicators used in this ranking too.  We are dropping rankings both in terms of:

  • the average normalized citation rate per publication;
  • the University’s share of publications that are among the 10 per cent most frequently cited in each subject area.

Uppsala doing worse than others

Lund University, Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the University of Gothenburg have all scored lower on the Citations indicator in the THE rankings, but not as much as Uppsala University.

All in all, this indicates that Uppsala University’s drop in the Citations indicator in the THE rankings cannot be explained solely by the methods used by the ranking institution for measuring this indicator. It also suggests a negative trend for the University when compared with some other higher education institutions. Of course, various aspects such as the measurement period also play a role in the result. In this year's THE rankings, citations in 2016-2021 are measured for publications in 2016-2020.