Indicators for the analysis of international visibility in Spanish universities

De Filippo, D.
Pandiella-Dominique, A.
Sanz-Casado, E.
Publication Type: 
Journal / Book: 
Revista de Educación
Publication Data: 
Nº 376. April-Jun 2017, pp. 157-192
In today’s globalising environment, visibility has become a pivotal asset for higher education institutions to obtain material and human resources and enhance their prestige. Hence, their interest in having their achievements in certain fields are duly acknowledged. In this paper, we propose a pool of tools and indicators to identify the most visible Spanish universities into the international scope, and their thematic strengths. Different sources of information were used: web of science, essential science indicators, and international rankings. Scientometric indicators of visibility were obtained: number of citation by institution and field, highly cited papers, hot cited papers, position of Spanish universities in international rankings. Considering the different thematic classification of sources, an aggregation in 4 areas was maked and relationships between universities and their specialisations were drawn. 44 Spanish universities have some indicator of international visibility; the most frequent are highly cited papers. 27 universities are in the rankings of specialties, most of them present in the QS ranking by subject. Greater specialization is given in Experimental Sciences and universities with more visibility are Autonomus University of Madrid, University of Valencia and Autonomus University of Barcelona. This study shows that the analysis of visibility based solely on the impact of publications or in position, in general ranking of universities can be very limited. It is necessary to reach the level of sub-discipline and thus detect institutional strengths in each specific field-
Higher education, international visibility, international rankings, Spanish universities, thematic specialisation, bibliometrics indicators
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