Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden Ranking: more than a league table

Every year the Leiden Centre for Science and Technology Studies publishes the Leiden Ranking, a league table of universities based on the quality of their academic education. But the data can be used for many different purposes, deputy-director Ludo Waltman explains.

You can use the data from the Leiden Ranking in different ways to view universities' performance. On the basis of the citation statistics, you can see what the impact is of a university's research, for example. But the data can also be used to show how universities perform in different subject areas. You can also compare universities from a geographical perspective and look at their involvement in national and international scientific partnerships. 

More user friendly

‘We invite policy-makers and others who are interested to use the data on our website,' says Ludo Waltman, deputy-director of CWTS and the person responsible for the Leiden Ranking. ‘This is easier than ever now, because we have recently made the website a lot more user friendly.' The website now indicates step by step how the statistics of the Leiden Ranking can be used. Over the coming period the site will also highlight how a number of users of the Leiden Ranking are using it for all kinds of practical applications. The aim is to inspire even more people to use the Ranking in all kinds of creative and responsible ways. 


The Leiden Ranking is unique compared to other university rankings. It is based on data on scientific publications at universities.  This means that scientific research is key, rather than universities' reputation or their teaching performance. CWTS believes it is important to give a detailed explanation of how the Leiden Ranking is compiled. This is why the methodology of the ranking is shown in such detail on the website. 

Ten principles

CWTS also believes it is essential that the ranking is used in a well considered way. It is a rich source of information on universities, but at the same time there are many activities carried out by universities that are not visible in the ranking.  Last year CWTS formulated 10 principles for using university rankings responsibly. 

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