Monday, 29 June 2015

Recent Journal of Informetrics Articles

A systematic analysis of duplicate records in Scopus

July 2015
Juan-Carlos Valderrama-Zurián | Remedios Aguilar-Moya | David Melero-Fuentes | Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent

recent years, the Web of Science Core Collection and Scopus databases
have become primary sources for conducting studies that evaluate
scientific investigations. Such studies require that duplicate...

Recent Journal of Informetrics Articles

Use a Movie Trailer to Share Science | The Scientist Videographer


Use a Movie Trailer to Share Science

If you're new here and want to be notified of new blog posts or tutorials, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed (I rarely post more than once per week). Thanks for visiting!
uses movie trailers to announce a new film and to attract viewers. You
can use the same approach to tell others about an upcoming journal
article, report, book, or research project. Students might use a trailer
to share their experiences on a field trip or to make a video to accompany a conference poster. It’s a fun way to share your work with others or to tell people about your activities.

How does one go about creating a movie trailer? In iMovie (both the
desktop and mobile versions), you are given the option of making a movie
from scratch or using a movie trailer template. If you select the
latter, the trailer editor does most of the work for you—for example,
making suggestions about what types of footage and text to use. The
trailer option may be helpful if you are having difficulty getting
started with a video project. You may be at a loss as to how to organize
your material to tell a story…..or you may not have time to plan,
shoot, and edit a movie from scratch.

To help you out, I’ve created a two-part tutorial to show how
to use the trailer option in iMovie (Version 10.0.8) to create a movie
In this tutorial, I recreate a trailer that announces
an upcoming, hypothetical paper, but you can use it for many other
purposes. The tutorial walks you through the workspace and shows how to:
import footage and other media, modify added video clips and photos,
and convert the trailer to a movie project to allow more extensive

Even if you do not plan to use a movie trailer to share your
work, making a mock trailer is a great way to begin learning how to
design and edit a video.
And, who knows? You may end up with
something great. If you already have film clips or photos of your
research or other activity, the movie trailer editor will allow you to
make a video in less than an hour. If you do not like the provided
templates (and some are pretty cheesy), it’s possible to convert the
trailer to a regular movie project that can then be edited to your

Parts One and Two are embedded below (select full-screen and HD for best viewing). Direct links to the videos are here and here.

Use a Movie Trailer to Share Science | The Scientist Videographer

Are the most highly cited articles the ones that are the most downloaded?


Are the most highly cited articles the ones that are the most downloaded? A bibliometric study of IRRODL

Raidell Avello Martínez, Terry Anderson


Publication of research, innovation, challenges and successes
is of critical importance to the evolution of more effective distance
education programming. Publication in peer reviewed journal format is
the most prestigious and the most widespread form of dissemination in
education and most other disciplines, thus the importance of
understanding what is published and its impact on both researchers and
practitioners. In this article we identify and classify the leading
articles in arguably the leading peer reviewed journals in this

The journal The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
(IRRODL) is a peer reviewed academic journal that has been published
since 2000. The journal has published between 3 and 6 issues annually
with between 50 and 111 research articles per volume. In order to assess
the general and the particular impact of highly cited articles this
work describes the main bibliometric indicators of the IRRODL journal
and these are compared with the total galley views in all formats, PDF,
HTML, EPUB and MP3, that IRRODL publishes. In addition to identifying
characteristics of the most widely cited articles this research
determines if there is a correlation between the articles most highly
cited by other publishing researchers and the number of views,
indicating interest from both practitioners and research communities.
The results show a significant and positive relationship between the
total number of citations and the number of views received by articles
published in the journal, indicating the impact of the journal extends
beyond active publishers to practitioner consumers.


International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning;
IRRODL; Highly cited papers; Google Scholar; Research trends; Open and
Distance Learning

Full Text:


Are the most highly cited articles the ones that are the most downloaded? A bibliometric study of IRRODL | Avello Martínez | The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning

SSRN Top Downloads For AARN: Educational Policies & Equality (Topic)



Ethical and Unethical Methods of Plagiarism Prevention in Academic Writing
Kaveh Bakhtiyari,
Hadi Salehi,
Mohamed Amin Embi,
Masoud Shakiba,
Azam Zavvari,
Masoomeh Shahbazi-Moghadam,
Nader Ale Ebrahim and
Marjan Mohammadjafari

University of Duisburg-Essen, Islamic Azad
University, Najafabad Branch, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia - Faculty
of Education, National University of Malaysia, National University of
Malaysia, University of Technology MARA (UiTM), University of Malaya
(UM) - Department of Engineering Design and Manufacture, Faculty of
EngineeringUniversity of Malaya (UM) - Research Support Unit, Centre of
Research Services, Institute of Research Management and Monitoring
(IPPP) and University of Malaya (UM)

Date posted to database: 24 Jun 2014

Last Revised: 24 Jun 2014

SSRN Top Downloads

Does a Long Reference List Guarantee More Citations? Analysis of Malaysian Highly Cited and Review Papers

Does a Long Reference List Guarantee More Citations? Analysis of Malaysian Highly Cited and Review Papers

  • Nader Ale Ebrahim
  • H. Ebrahimian
  • Maryam Mousavi
  • Farzad Tahriri(Institute of Research Management and Monitoring (IPPP), University of Malaya, Malaysia)
Registered author(s):
publications have shown that the number of references as well as the
number of received citations are field-dependent. Consequently, a long
reference list may lead to more citations. The purpose of this article
is to study the concrete relationship between number of references and
citation counts. This article tries to find an answer for the concrete
case of Malaysian highly cited papers and Malaysian review papers.
Malaysian paper is a paper with at least one Malaysian affilation. A
total of 2466 papers consisting of two sets, namely 1966 review papers
and 500 highly-cited articles, are studied. The statistical analysis
shows that an increase in the number of references leads to a slight
increase in the number of citations. Yet, this increase is not
statistically significant. Therefore, a researcher should not try to
increase the number of received citations by artificially increasing the
number of references

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the
proper application to
view it first. In case of further problems read
the IDEAS help
. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS
site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Does a Long Reference List Guarantee More Citations? Analysis of Malaysian Highly Cited and Review Papers

Saturday, 27 June 2015

QS Intelligence Unit | Japan funds 37 top universities to improve at global university rankings


QS Intelligence Unit | Japan funds 37 top universities to improve at global university rankings

Top 20 Ranked Up and Coming Universities With the Best Return on Investment (ROI) 2014


Top 20 Ranked Up and Coming Universities With the Best Return on Investment (ROI) 2014

Badge - Best Value Schools - Best ReturnWhen
deciding where to invest money and time toward a college education, it
may be wise to search beyond institutions that are already household
names and consider those that are ranked among the best up and coming
universities. By not getting hung up on the prestige of a school’s name
and the longevity of their reputation, you may find that “up and coming”
universities embrace more relevant priorities that are not so steeped
in tradition, and often at a cheaper price.

It is common knowledge which universities are considered the cream of
the crop. Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT; the list goes on.
Those well established schools are significant now, but what about in
the future? Competition, resources, technology, and teaching methodology
are all evolving to meet new needs in the U.S. and there is another
list of schools consisting of America’s up and coming universities that
should be considered. Those universities are the focus of this article.

Ranking Methodology

Value and earning potential are
gaining more of a spotlight every year as students look for ways to
maximize their investment. This list consists of the top 20 up and
coming universities according to
U.S. News and World Report.
The schools were selected by surveying peers in the world of higher
education, and singled out for innovation, improvement of facilities,
and other major factors.

While we selected schools for this list based on their inclusion in
U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of up and coming universities, we
recognize that students need more information to make optimal choices
when choosing a university. So we ranked the schools here by their 30
year net return on investment according to’s ROI data.
This list gives you the best of both worlds: the twenty schools most on
the rise in the U.S. and key financial data to help you make the best
decision possible.

Ranking the Best Up and Coming Universities Based on ROI

#20. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis: Indianapolis, Indiana

Indiana boasts the only state university system with two schools
among the top ten up and coming universities in the United States. While
the ROI of this school is lower than its sister school mentioned later
on in this list, the school itself is actually ranked higher among up
and coming universities. This is encouraging and it is often the case
that as schools improve, the ROI is dramatically impacted. IUPUI is
counted among national universities by U.S. News, though its rank is
not published. That could change as long as the school keeps on its
current track.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News:#5

30 Year Average Net ROI: $487,800


#19. Portland State University: Portland, Oregon

This school’s rank among up and coming universities is tied to the
growth of the number of academic programs offered and a new emphasis on
conducting major research. Portland State University offers
many service learning opportunities, and part of the school’s
philosophy is to tie its rigorous academic excellence to real world
situations that will allow students to experience new things and gain

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #10

30 Year Average Net ROI: $513,900


#18. University of Central Florida: Orlando, Florida

The University of Central Florida’s ranking among national
universities and national public universities by U.S. News and World
Report both jumped four slots this year. The school is undeniably
growing in positive ways. The climb is consistent as the University of Central Florida
has advanced in the rankings every year for the past four years. The
school has long been considered by major publications to be one of the
best values in higher education, and the fact that it continues to
receive those accolades is very encouraging.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #14

30 Year Average Net ROI: $533,700


#17. Georgia State University: Atlanta, Georgia

Not only has Georgia State University
been recognized as an up and coming institution, but it is considered
one of the most diverse campuses in the United States, ranked 12th for
diversity. One of the primary goals of the school has been to increase
the one to one attention received by each student. From faculty
mentorship to peer tutoring, GSU is committed to bolstering the
student’s academic experience and opportunity without significantly
increasing the cost of education.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #14

30 Year Average Net ROI: $536,400


#16. University of Vermont: Burlington, Vermont

With over 100 majors to choose from, a list that is growing every year as the school adds new programs in emerging fields, the University of Vermont
is committed to growth in all arenas. Even in this economy, which is
difficult for new college graduates, 85% of graduates from UV express
satisfaction with their job one year after graduation. The school has a
long historical tradition of academic excellence and its campus is rich
with history.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #14

30 Year Average Net ROI: $568,800


#15. University of Denver: Denver, Colorado

Denver University has risen in the last couple of years from #13 to
#10 among top up and coming universities. The university states that the
reason for its advanced ranking is the school’s commitment to
innovation, pursuing new and interesting methods, adding new academic
programs, and more. The school has been home to many significant events,
playing host to one of the 2012 Presidential debates. The University of Denver
anticipates continued growth in both the quality of its programs and
facilities, which is the primary reason for its advancement in the
rankings of up and coming universities.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #10

30 Year Average Net ROI: $637,900


#14. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati
is ranked 3rd among up and coming universities by U.S. News, and is
hard at work developing innovative programs and emphasizing experiential
learning (gaining recognition as one of the best schools for finding a
strong internship in the U.S.). Other contributing factors in the
university’s upward movement are increased graduation rates and
increased freshman retention. The school has also been able to improve
financial aid and expand their facilities due to successful new
fundraising efforts.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #3

30 Year Average Net ROI: $673,800


#13. San Diego State University: San Diego, California

Upward momentum isn’t just signified by San Diego State’s rank among
the country’s up and coming universities. Since 2011, the university has
improved its rank among national universities from #183 to #152. This
is a result of the school’s growing reputation in the business community
(with a highly ranked international business program) and in the
academic community at large. The strong ROI isn’t the only financial
reason to consider SDSU.
The school was also named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the
20 schools from which students graduate with the least amount of debt.
44% graduate with no debt at all.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #14

30 Year Average Net ROI: $683,900


#12. Arizona State University-Tempe: Tempe, Arizona

ASU is growing, and so is its reputation as a top academic
institution. The school’s growth and innovation are evident in its
emphasis on student entrepreneurship, community partnerships, increasing
student services, and the fact that the school is continuously adding
academic programs in emerging fields. If you are interested in an
emerging field, Arizona State University
one of the best schools to investigate as they are often among the
first to offer new programs designed to educate a new generation of
professionals for new industries.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #2

30 Year Average Net ROI: $752,000


#11. Marquette University: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This school’s new vision is committed to raising its already strong profile. Marquette University
is offering more financial aid, expanding their facilities, and
striving to achieve “high research activity,” which would put it on the
path to becoming one of the most prominent Roman Catholic research
universities in the world. The university, already socially active as
dictated by the Jesuit tradition of social justice, also seeks to become
even more involved in the community on the local, national, and
international levels.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #14

30 Year Average Net ROI: $768,900


#10. Northeastern University: Boston, Massachusetts

Northeastern University’s national ranking has been steadily
advancing over the course of the last six years. In 2007 the school was
ranked #98, and just six years later the ranking had steadily improved
to #56. Northeastern University
is now ranked #49 in the United States among national universities by
U.S. News for the year 2014. The school’s advancement in the national
rankings, combined with its high rank as an up and coming school, is
indicative of the university’s commitment to academic innovation and the
overall improvement of its facilities and programs.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #3

30 Year Average Net ROI: $771,600


#9. Boston University: Boston, Massachusetts

One of the primary focuses at BU is innovation. Whether in the
entrepreneurship program or engineering, innovation is a big deal. This
is because the school as a whole seeks to provide students with an
education that will enable them to change things regardless of their
industry. Boston University
models this focus by offering innovative courses, and an innovative
take on old subjects, all while staying grounded in a strong academic

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #14

30 Year Average Net ROI: $799,000


#8. North Carolina State University-Raleigh: Raleigh, North Carolina

In addition to being ranked among the top ten up and coming universities by U.S. News, NC State Raleigh
is also located in one of the ten up and coming cities for
entrepreneurs according to Forbes. This is especially encouraging to
undergraduate students studying in an area conducive to
entrepreneurship, the sciences, engineering, and, of course, business.
The school’s reputation, along with the city’s is growing as the school
adds more programs, partners, and facilities.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #8

30 Year Average Net ROI: $832,600


#7. George Mason University: Fairfax, Virginia

In the five years since the “up and coming” category was introduced, George Mason University
has been solidly in the top ten. The school has been growing in all
major areas: residential enrollment, construction of new facilities (on
which the school has spent $700 million since 2009) including research
laboratories, developing the school’s academic partnership with the
Smithsonian, and an increased focus on undergraduate research.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #6

30 Year Average Net ROI: $857,400


#6. Clemson University: Clemson, South Carolina

This school has a reputation for innovation and one of the ways Clemson University
has been innovating and growing is in its involvement of undergraduate
students in major research and development projects. Undergraduate
students in engineering (mechanical, computer, and electrical) and
physics are routinely involved in designing and constructing advanced
equipment that is used by NASA and other agencies.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #8

30 Year Average Net ROI: $872,700


#5. University of Southern California: Los Angeles, California

USC is ranked as
the 23rd best university by U.S. News and its ranking as an up and
coming university is encouraging. Many of the top universities don’t
make the up and coming list, as they aren’t innovating as much
academically or growing their facilities as rapidly as the schools that
make the list. USC’s high ranking on both lists means students will take
part in a thriving academic culture that continues to evolve and is
already highly regarded.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #10

30 Year Average Net ROI: $885,300


#4. University of Maryland-Baltimore County: Baltimore Maryland

One of the biggest innovations at the University of Maryland–Baltimore County
is its heightened focus on undergraduate teaching. It’s easy for
undergraduates at many of the best schools to feel overlooked as the
schools focus more on graduate education and high level research.
Schools with high ratings of undergraduate teaching focus on making the
undergraduate academic experience more rewarding, and are more attentive
to their undergraduates.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #1

30 Year Average Net ROI: $930,200


#3. Purdue University-West Lafayette: West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue is constantly growing, both in size, and the extent of its
facilities. The school focuses on innovation in the classroom and
innovation in what kinds of programs it offers. This innovation leads to
a growth in the number of programs available as new programs in
emerging fields are added to the catalogue. These are some of the
primary reasons Purdue University-West Lafayette is considered one of the top up and coming universities in the United States.

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #10

30 Year Average Net ROI: $935,000


#2. Drexel University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It’s easy to see why Drexel University
has been on the “Up and Coming” list for a few years. The school has
been growing by leaps and bounds, innovating and growing its facilities
and academics. The school has been developing a strong online and hybrid
program consistent with its philosophy of always being on the cutting
edge of education. Online education was just the next logical step for
Drexel, the very first university to require students to have computer

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #7

30 Year Average Net ROI: $1.02 Million


#1. Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Image Source
Carnegie Mellon University
is located in the heart of Pittsburgh, one of the biggest industrial
centers in the United States. The school may not be ranked very high in
the “up and coming” category, but that’s partial because it has always
been one of the most innovative universities in the country. The school
is a hub for students interested in science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics, and continues to offer programs at the graduate and
undergraduate levels that explore new facets of established subjects.
Carnegie Mellon also appears on our list of the Top 25 Ranked Engineering Programs with the Best Return on Investment (ROI).

Up and Coming Rank by U.S. News: #14

30 Year Average Net ROI: $1.22 Million

After researching this list of the top ranked up and coming
universities with the best return on investment, you will be able to
make a decision about your college education that will help you make the
most of your most important investment.

Top 20 Ranked Up and Coming Universities With the Best Return on Investment (ROI) 2014

Turning the ranking tables on their head: how to improve your standing - Research Trends



Turning the ranking tables on their head: how to improve your standing

In February 2009, the third International
Symposium on University Rankings was held in Leiden, the Netherlands.
University rankings were discussed from several perspectives: from the
position of the researcher or organization developing the rankings to
that of the university dean or provost using the rankings to improve
their university’s position.

Professor Anthony F.J. van Raan from the Centre for Science and
Technology Studies, Leiden University, gave a presentation on the
methods used by the various university-ranking systems around the
world. For instance, where The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES)
bases its analysis on 20% bibliometric input, Shanghai uses 80% and
Leiden 100%.

National rankings often also take external inputs, such as average
rents for student accommodation in the relevant city, into account.
Gero Federkeil, from the Centre for Higher Education Development,
explained that some rankings are even bringing their successful alumni
into the picture in much the same way that the research community looks
at Nobel Prize Laureates. Having a high number of graduates go on to
become CEOs at major companies can also be an indicator of quality.

What do these rankings mean to a university?

In many of the discussions, the speakers said that rankings should
not be used for resource allocation. It would be wonderful if they
could be used to predict, navigate and forecast, but this is not yet
possible. This is an area where further research and development are

Professor Luke Georghiou, University of Manchester, explained that
while universities do try to improve their ranking, it is less clear
how the rankings actually influence behavior.

Climbing up the rankings

One country that has steadily increased its output and quality of
papers in recent years is Finland (see Figures 1 and 2). University
administrators are very interested to learn how this remarkable success
has been achieved.

Figure 1: Article output in Finland has been rising steadily for some years.
Figure 1: Article output in Finland has been rising steadily for some years.
Figure 2: The average h-index of authors in the country went up by 60% in just five years.
Figure 2: The average h-index of authors in the country went up by 60% in just five years.
Jamo Saarti, Library Director at Kuopio University, Finland, says
his university has improved its ranking by focusing on strategic
research and supporting this with funding. “Kuopio University has made
publishing papers in international and high-quality journals a clear
priority, and we have been using bibliometric tools to find out where
to publish.”

Indeed, analysis of recent articles from the university show that well-cited papers have been published in journals such as Annals of Internal Medicine, Cell, Nature, Nature Genetics, The Lancet and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

“The management at Kuopio University has used ranking lists as tools
in evaluation and we in the library have been very active in acquiring
the best possible e-journal collections and promoting the use of these
to our researchers,” explains Saarti.

He believes that this focus on high-quality publications, coupled
with international collaboration, which has been adopted throughout the
university, particularly within the natural sciences and (bio)health
sciences, has been key to their success. Figure 3 supports this view,
showing that citation levels for the university have been steadily

Figure 3: Kuopio University is succeeding in its goal to increase citations.
Figure 3: Kuopio University is succeeding in its goal to increase citations.
Looking at the rate of citations per subject further supports this
approach. Kuopio University’s extra focus on fields such as biological
sciences and medicine has paid off, as these were among the university’s
top-cited subjects in 2006 and 2007 (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Kuopio University’s focus on sciences has pushed its citations in these areas to new highs.
4: Kuopio University’s focus on sciences has pushed its citations in
these areas to new highs. Data is field-weighted to eliminate
differences in underlying citation activity between disciplines.

Tried and tested

The combination of the university’s strategy, research focus,
collaboration with library services and utilization of metrics to track
progress provides a very sensible approach to institute management and
one that is likely to reap benefits.
Indeed, many of the efforts described by Saarti are recognized as
key strategies for universities to push forward their research
productivity and quality.

Useful links:

International Symposium on University Rankings

Turning the ranking tables on their head: how to improve your standing - Research Trends

Top 20 ways to improve your world university ranking | Times Higher Education


Top 20 ways to improve your world university ranking

Amanda Goodall offers twenty inexpensive methods to help your institution climb the world university league tables

With the inaugural Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings
launched on Wednesday 4 December 2013, the scrutiny of university
performance and levels of global competition are growing all the time.
As a result, universities around the world are thinking harder than ever
about how to improve their international standing.

But what can
universities do to improve their position? Here we provide a list of
suggestions, originally written by Amanda Goodall in the 18 February
2010 issue of Times Higher Education and drawn from evidence, experience and anecdote.

Carrot on a stick

1. To change a university, you need to change people’s incentives

average academic or administrator in a university is completely unaware
of your university’s strategy document. If they have seen it, they
think it is waffle. So if your strategy is supposed to change behaviour,
you have to provide new incentives for your staff, and monitor
performance from the top.

University strategy works best if it is a
simple list of key priorities and not an operations manual. Marketing
experts may advise us that we need elaborate brochures, but the effect
of these on the internal community is questionable. Something glossy may
be useful for fundraising purposes, however.

Superman business leader

2. To attract the best faculty, you need the best leaders

raising or maintaining research quality is part of the strategy, hire
the best scholars you can and put them in positions of power - pro
vice-chancellor for research, dean or head of department.

The best
universities and business schools have been shown to hire the best
scholars as their heads. The probable reason is that other great
scholars will choose to be there because the culture and values of the
place will likely be more amenable under a fellow researcher.

Also, a dean who is a successful scholar may feel less threatened by someone “famous” coming in.

if a dean or pro vice-chancellor of research is not a good scholar, he
or she may have limited credibility and power within the institution.

Who would pay any attention to a pro vice-chancellor with few publications telling other staff to improve their research output?

Woman being interviewed

3. Control quality through hiring panels

vice-chancellor is the standard bearer, and, therefore, he or she
should set the quality threshold in the institution. If you want good
hires to be made, then control the process yourself.

A head will,
and should, delegate, but only after those receiving the delegated
powers have proved themselves. Make sure the very best researchers are
on hiring and probation committees.

Humans tend to select others
who are like themselves. A hiring panel made up of grade-two researchers
is unlikely to want to hire a grade-one researcher.

The same is
true in academic departments or schools. Why make life difficult for
ourselves by hiring people who are much better than us?

The status
quo is much preferable, at least among the established faculty - the
younger ones are more likely to want to raise standards.

Create a
committee to advise the vice-chancellor that polices all hiring,
promotion and probation decisions. Ultimately, if this process is going
to work, it has to be driven and monitored by a leader.

Finally, ban the phrase “is there anyone on the list who is appointable?”. It encourages tolerance for mediocrity.

Businessman extending hand

4. Hire the best

the vice-chancellor should create and drive this process, and be
available to talk to potential hires personally, as should the pro
vice-chancellor for research and the head of the recruiting department.

mentioned earlier, the vice-chancellor should sit on major hiring
panels or, at the very least, review the candidates. If the university
head isn’t able or prepared to control the people who join and leave,
then the game is lost.

Don’t just advertise; think about who the
perfect candidate might be. Human resources departments could become
more active in attracting (and keeping) the best staff.

If you are
looking to hire a dean of school or a head of department, stop all new
appointments in that department prior to the head arriving, especially
key positions such as professorships.

The power to make one’s own
appointments is an important incentive for an incoming head. A new dean
should also be able to put in place his or her own top management team.

schmoozing from the moment you speak to a potential candidate. HR
should help department heads by feeding candidates information about
local schools and housing options.

Wine and dine your top
prospects, and whatever you do don’t let the perfect candidate wander
around campus alone trying to find a sandwich!

Hands with their thumbs up

5. Know the talent list and congratulate people

is inconceivable that a successful commercial organisation would not be
fully aware of its most talented staff. Find out who they are in your
university - researchers, teachers and administrators.

Make sure
that people on the ground let the vice-chancellor know when someone does
something commendable. Then send a congratulatory note.

When you reward your teachers, make it generous. Try to let people know that their contribution has not gone unnoticed.

An academic’s life is lonely. Loyalty, it is often remarked, is to the discipline, not to the university. This is rational.

usually receive positive feedback only from colleagues in their field -
assessment is by their peers, which leads to publishing, promotion and,
ultimately, pay.

Academics will show loyalty to a university, but the institution must do more than get them to fill in forms.

that one or more members of staff - preferably in the HR department -
know exactly who your outstanding people are, and whether they are happy
or not.

Attracting top staff is a gruelling and increasingly expensive process - be sure to hang on to those you have!

Pain/Gain tattoos

6. No pain, no gain

you want to change an organisation, it is going to hurt. If you just
want an easy ride for a few years before you get a pension, then don’t
bother with a strategy for change.

The leader, board members,
junior faculty and some of the top people may think that moving up in
the rankings is a great idea. But it is unlikely that everyone else
will. We all tend to prefer the status quo.

Making “tenure” decisions can sometimes hurt the most. You get to know the person; maybe by now you are good friends.

is why the head of department should be someone who can take tough but
fair decisions; and when heads of department make those difficult
decisions, the vice-chancellor and other top team members must support

The final say on tenure or probation decisions should come
from outside a department. But often there is a culture of “you scratch
my back, I’ll scratch yours” - in other words, we’ll go with your
department’s first choice if you go with ours.

Any committee
making probation decisions has to be controlled by the vice-chancellor,
via delegation to a pro vice-chancellor of research if necessary, and it
should be populated by your best scholars, who are fully aware of the
university’s strategy with regard to hiring and promotions criteria.

A probation decision should not be made lightly. A new faculty member could stay on the payroll for 35 years.

Also, a wrong decision will hurt the junior academic in the long run.

in a department where you feel you are not good enough is stressful.
Having colleagues who are a little better is motivating.

But if they are all a lot better it can lead to depression and isolation.

'Change Ahead' road sign

7. Too much change, no gain

Too much organisational change drives people mad.

strategy is usually initiated and led by the vice-chancellor. Leaders
should have control of the strategy and the concomitant powers to make
it happen.

But a head may stay in post for only a few years. So to
avoid the institution’s strategy flip-flopping each time a new leader
arrives, the board should attempt to bear overall responsibility for it.

other words, try to be consistent when hiring leaders. If the
overarching strategy is to develop the best interdisciplinary social
science faculty, or the largest medical school in the region, then hire
the next vice-chancellor with this in mind.

It needn’t be the only
thing an incoming vice-chancellor thinks about (every leader will have
his or her own agenda) but if a predecessor has invested university
resources and effort, don’t waste what has been achieved.

Universities take a very long time to change. To be the best in anything requires focus, tenacity and time.

Man's hand holding £20 notes

8. Pay a top salary if you want the right department head

aren’t many more important posts in a university than the position of
head of department. Pulling teeth from an angry dog is easier than
hiring good heads of department.

A university should be prepared
to pay a decent salary for the privilege of a top-notch department head.
Offer a lot more than one term’s sabbatical leave, often spent in

Great department chairs make all the difference to the job
of vice-chancellor. Again, heads of department should be among the best
scholars in the department, and the vice-chancellor should make the

Growing money plant

9. Incentivise raising research money

new vice-chancellors or presidents do the rounds of departments when
they arrive. It is a rare thing when “we want to raise more research
money” is not top of their list.

What doesn’t get said, however,
is why members of a department should do it when there is rarely any
mention of incentives. If you want more research money raised in the
university, offer to give something back in return.

For example, the department gets to keep an extra 10 per cent (buying out teaching and administration time should be a given).

Scissors cutting red tape

10. Cut the red tape and reduce the number of committees

How often have we heard this said, and how often does it happen?

tape really does cause a lot of damage in our universities. It slows
everything down, affects innovation, weakens motivation, reduces
research time and, therefore, quality.

Bureaucracy can also be a
deterrent when trying to keep good staff. Administrative processes have
ballooned. We have got to stop the tail wagging the dog.

committees, systems and processes should be assessed, and the question
posed: how does this help the core business of research and teaching? If
the case is unclear, get rid of it.

Committee minutes and reports
could be cut to a minimum. If necessary, hire a lawyer to make sure the
dots are covered. Don’t let your best people waste productive time on

This is especially relevant when trying to encourage scholars to take management jobs.

you don’t know where red tape causes the most jams in your institution,
ask your best researchers, teachers and administrators, and consult
with a recently joined faculty member, preferably one from the US.

Woman holding smiley emoticon sign

11. As a leader, be accessible

Not just to your top team. Have a policy of hearing what others are trying to say.

able to take bad news, too. You have made it to the top and that is
quite something. Now you can have a little humility and make others feel
good about themselves.

There’s nothing better than being told that what you do makes a contribution. So what if Professor X has a massive ego?

available to students also: eat where they eat; give a seminar or
lecture directed at the student body; and let them know who you are.

you are the kind of vice-chancellor who mainly wants to be liked, or
likes to compete with your staff, don’t take the job of leader.

Also, many vice-chancellors and senior managers start to talk in a different language - managerialism.

Don’t forget the culture and the values of the place. Plain English works best.

Businessmen shaking hands

12. Clarify the relationship between administrative and academic staff

many times have we heard academics and administrators moan about each
other - even registrars make jokes about academics in large
administrative meetings.

The core business of a university -
research and teaching - does not exist without academics. This should be
explained. It rarely is.

If a great scholar leaves, it will have negative implications for the whole institution. That needs to be known by everyone.

the role of administrators is sometimes viewed as “less important” by
academics. But the relationship between academics and administrators is

Better communication and a bit more networking
time together could make the world of difference. If the central
administration is located in a building miles away from the academics,
mutual respect and understanding will be less likely to develop.

Academic-related administrators, fundraisers and PR staff should dine (in decent facilities) with academics regularly.

Teacher disciplining schoolboy

13. Start to train scholars in management when they are young

as I have argued, good scholars make the best leaders in universities,
then potential scholar-leaders need to be trained early in their

Much management education is viewed as overly long-winded
and not tailored to the needs of academics. Young scholars have almost
no incentive to go on these type of courses, because they are viewed as
being detrimental to their research careers.

Short, concise,
relevant courses (half-day maximum) should be offered with necessary
incentives to researchers throughout their careers - little but
relatively often.

(Maybe such schemes could replace the long, drawn-out teaching courses.)

Wrong/Right decision

14. Pick your board or council members because - and only because - they are good for the university, and then educate them

former head of one of America’s most famous universities once told me:
“Private universities are much better at selecting boards. They only
choose people who are deemed to be good for the university.”

Is that true of your board or council members?

second important question is: do your board members really understand
the business of universities? Do they know what your university does

It is crucially important that board members understand the institutions that they are governing.

Finally, and in relation to both previous points, ensure that you have outstanding scholars on your board or council.

should be individuals from among current staff, and, importantly,
emeritus scholars or professors from outside the university, ideally
former students who are loyal to the institution.

Former registrars or key administrative staff may also be good additions to boards.

Businessman holding 'No' card

15. Tell Government ‘No!’

University leaders are the vanguard of the sector. If they lie down, the tanks roll in. There is no other protection.

a vice-chancellor is without a doubt the hardest job in higher
education. But it is depressing when we hear that universities will have
to pay for the mess caused by the City.

Let’s hope the vice-chancellors fight the good fight.

Basket of fruit and vegetables

16. Give staff food for their tummies as well as thought

The importance of good food cannot be overestimated.

often do we hear the words “we want to encourage interdisciplinarity”?
Where are these disciplines supposed to meet each other?

are there good-quality restaurants in UK universities - places that
openly encourage academics to meet with each other (or with
academic-related staff). Usually they are embarrassing!

There is a
strong correlation between the consumption of fruit and vegetables and
good mental health. (You want more mad professors?)

Man in front of blackboard

17. Hire a scholar as leader

evidence from my research shows that the best universities are led by
outstanding scholars and also that better scholars improve the future
performance of universities.

Of course leaders must be good managers with experience of leadership, but that should be assumed.

back-of-an-envelope suggestion is that the vice-chancellor, rector or
president should be at least as good as the top 10 per cent of scholars
in the institution.

Five year birthday cupcake

18. Make sure the leader stays at least five years - and preferably more

A university leader who is in post for much less than five years is unlikely to have the institution’s best interests at heart.

my research, those universities that performed the best in the research
assessment exercise were led by scholars whose tenure was between seven
and ten years.

But vice-chancellors shouldn’t overstay, either.

Man casting athletic shadow

19. Give the leader plenty of power (or don’t bother hiring one)

need power if they are to be effective. Don’t force them to go through
loads of committees before a decision can be made.

Give a leader
power and his or her own modest pot of money, but ensure that you have a
decent chair of the board or council acting as overseer.

Man being chosen by employer (illustration)

20. Let the leader pick his or her own top team

A university head must have the power to pick his or her top management team.

The vice-chancellor should, if possible, select the top team within the first few months of being in post.

Top 20 ways to improve your world university ranking | Times Higher Education