The Global Research Benchmarking System (GRBS), the first international university research benchmarking initiative, debuted in November 2011. The GRBS analyses university research performance at a finer level of detail than any previous international ranking or evaluation system, and thus is able to highlight the performance of universities with particular niche strengths.
At its debut, the GRBS covered 729 universities in the Asia-Pacific and North America. It has now extended its coverage to universities in Europe by building on the work of European University Data Collection (EUMIDA) initiative. The 2012 mid-year release of the GRBS includes 614 universities from the EU, Norway and Switzerland, bringing the total number of universities covered to over 1,300.
Universities in Europe were selected for inclusion in GRBS by examining research output in a four-year window (2007–2010) at two levels. First, in each of the 251 third-level niche subject areas of GRBS, the universities with the highest number of publications (top 100) were identified. In addition, the 200 universities with the highest number of publications were identified in broader second-level categories.
A university that was in any of these lists was included in the entire exercise. This methodology enables GRBS to report on the performance of smaller and more specialized universities in addition to the larger more comprehensive ones.
Prof. Peter Haddawy, Director of the UNU International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST), recently gave presentations to introduce the new European coverage of GRBS at events in Brussels and Bonn. The event in Brussels, on 11 May at the EU Liaison Office of the German Research Organizations, was attended by officials from the Directorate General for Research of the European Commission as well as science and technology policy agencies.
The event in Bonn, at the offices of the International Bureau of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on May 15, was attended by representatives from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, German Rector’s Conference, German Research Foundation, Wissenschaftsrat, iFQ, TÜV, VDI-TZ and the EU Bureau. The UNU Vice-Rector in Europe, Prof. Jakob Rhyner, was also in attendance.
The GRBS is a joint effort of UNU-IIST and the US-based Center for Measuring University Performance.
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(Adapted from “Global Research Benchmarking System Adds Coverage of European Universities”, published on the UNU-IIST website on 29 May 2012.)