The Most Cybersavvy Universities

A new ranking from Spain looks at which universities have the strongest Web presence internationally.

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The new Webometrics Ranking of World Universities was just published by the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the largest public research body in Spain. These rankings, published since 2004, look at 16,000 higher education institutions worldwide and measure the impact of a university's Web presence globally compared to other universities.

U.S. universities dominate the webometric world ranking. Schools from the United States account for 24 of the top 25 schools, 43 of the top 50, 70 of the top 100, and 104 of the top 200. The webometric world ranking shows a troubling academic digital divide between North American (U.S. and Canadian) and European universities. Universities from North America make up more than 60 percent of the schools ranked in the top 200 of all universities. The top 10 countries, in terms of having the most top-ranked universities, are:

  1. the United States
  2. Canada
  3. the United Kingdom
  4. Australia
  5. Germany
  6. the Netherlands
  7. Sweden
  8. Japan
  9. Switzerland
  10. Spain

Web presence measures the global cyberactivity and visibility of each institution. It is one measure of the visibility, impact, and prestige of a university. Cybermetrics is a newly emerging social science discipline. The methodology used to compute the webometric rankings to calculate a school's Web presence takes into account not only research results but academic excellence and community engagement. The unit for analysis is the institutional Web domain, so only universities and research centers with an independent Web domain are considered.

These are the top 25 ranked schools worldwide, according to the January 2009 rankings:

World Webometric Rank/School Name

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2. Stanford University (Calif.)
3. Harvard University (Mass.)
4. University of California-Berkeley
5. Cornell University (N.Y.)
6. University of Michigan
7. California Institute of Technology
8. University of Minnesota
9. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
10. University of Texas-Austin
11. University of Wisconsin-Madison
12. University of Washington
13. University of Pennsylvania
14. Pennsylvania State University
15. Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.)
16. Texas A&M University
17. Columbia University (N.Y.)
18. University of California-Los Angeles
19. University of Maryland
20. University of Chicago
21. Purdue University (Ind.)
22. University of Florida
23. Michigan State University
25. University of Arizona