2019 Leiden Rankings

International collaborations support UVic research impact across academic fields

One of UVic’s longstanding research strengths was confirmed again last week by the 2019 Leiden Rankings: UVic-based researchers wrote a higher proportion of top-performing papers based on international collaborations than any other university in North America. In the nine years the Leiden Rankings have been released, UVic has claimed this spot eight times.

The Leiden Rankings are unusual among global university ranking systems because they are based solely on scientific performance, avoiding subjective or proxy metrics such as reputation surveys. And because each year’s Leiden results are based on a four-year span of publication information, the results tend to fluctuate less than other ranking systems.

Leiden’s rankings also track proportions of top-cited publications (PP) alongside the total volume of publications produced at a single institution, allowing the overall research performance of small, medium and very large universities to be equitably compared. As Alex Usher, of Toronto-based Higher Education Strategy Associates noted in a May 16 analysis of the Leiden results, “Victoria punches way above its weight,” on research impact.

This year, UVic ranked fourth in Canada across all sciences for research impact—the fourth year in a row it has held that position. Field-specific highlights of UVic research include:

#1 in Canada for mathematics and computer science, for the fifth consecutive year
#3 in Canada for social sciences and humanities
#5 in Canada for biomedical and health sciences, for the third year in a row
#6 in Canada for life and earth sciences


This year, the Leiden Rankings added a new category for Open Access publications as well—showcasing UVic’s strength in making science and scholarship’s findings accessible and affordable. Nearly half of all UVic publications (46.7 per cent) circulate legally and sustainably in open access journals and repositories—putting UVic just behind McGill and ahead of the University of Toronto in this emerging domain.


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Keywords: rankings, research, international, administrative

Publication: The Ring

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