World-Class Universities: Understanding the Attributes, Pursuing the Stature

Although the description “world-class” is often employed informally in any number of contexts, the phrase “world-class university” has an undeniable cachet. While there may be no single, precise definition of what constitutes a world-class university (WCU), a growing body of expert opinion now points to some common attributes.

A new whitepaper from Clarivate Analytics reviews these characteristics and then examines a further question: How can a university, in pursuit of world-class status, best marshal its resources and monitor its progress?

As the report explains, one particularly apt tool is Clarivate Analytics Web of Science, which includes the performance-measurement and benchmarking utilities InCites and Essential Science Indicators. With these resources, university officials can undertake a variety of evaluative activities. These include, for example, monitoring their school’s research output and assessing its citation impact against peer universities; determining institutions with which to consider collaboration; identifying highly cited researchers at other institutions for possible recruitment; and locating suitable funding agencies to help support research programs. All these activities, of course, hold the promise of elevating a university’s performance and profile.

Of course, the lofty goal of world-class status may not be a feasible aim for every university. But, as the whitepaper points out, every school and institution can benefit from detailed information about its own activities and its place in the wider research world.

To download the whitepaper, please click here.