Webometrics 2015
11:13 24.02.2015

VSUES in Webometrics – the largest international academic ranking of Higher Education Institutions, July 2014-January 2015.:


Webometrics ranking indicator


July 2014

January 2015


Visibility (external inlinks)





Presence (website pages number)





Openness (the number of  scientific and learning found by the academic search engine Google Scholar)





Excellence (the number of academic papers published in high impact international journals- WOS and Scopus)





Final ranking




Webometrics is the largest international academic ranking.

1. Visibility (a website impact-factor). 1/5 of weighting.

It counts all the external inlinks that the University domain receives from third parties. The visibility data is collected from the two most important providers of that kind of information: Majestic SEO and ahrefs.

The formula for visibility indicator counting is

Where X is the number of inlinks and Y is the number of inlink domains. The maximum of the normalized results is the impact indicator.

The out-of-service VSUES site http://abc.vvsu.ru  was hacked in November 2014. The site is of rare use and only out-of-date academic materials were kept there. Numerous ads and the links to those ads posted there by the hackers are leading now to more than 11000 domains. As a result, the VSUES visibility indicator became one of the best in the Russian Federation (being second only to the Lomonosov Moscow State University), whereas in July 2014 it ranked only 32nd.

Though the hacker’s attack was identified immediately and the ads were deleted, the links to them are still active (It’s not up to VSUES IT department to delete them). Those links  place VSUES second in the Webometrics January 2015 rating of inlinks received from third parties.

However, it is obvious that our Visibility indicator will be going down as the links will be eventually deleted.

A visitor of the VSUES website often looks for a certain material, which has a certain URL link. It would be better to keep this link in spite of the changes on the university main webpage. The problem we face now is that changes in the university organizational structure lead to changes in the structure of its website.

 One more idea is that a business web page differs greatly from an educational institution website. The first one presents its products and services. Whereas a university website gives much more details of the organizational structure and processes going on inside this structure. It is a requirement of a founding partner or community.

The abovementioned reasons make VSUES website relevance possible mostly due to the content management system developed by the Center of digital and information support. Most changes are processed automatically. More important changes in the website structure (URL changes caused by the organizational structure changes) result in lost links and decrease in users’ loyalty. To prevent them the Information technologies institute, to be more exact, its Center of IT support is doing the following:

  • The information not relating to a certain university department is posted on separate subdomains. There are separate web-services called “Электронный кампус”(E-campus), “Абитуриент”(Applicants’ Information), “Наука”(Sientific Research), for example.
  • When the VSUES organizational structure is changed, the domains that existed before are to remain the same.
  • Some of VSUES divisions and departments are recommended not to create their own webpages, but to upload their documents on special webpages (e.g. Публикации документов – E-documents) to be available to authorized users only.

Fair ways to improve the Visibility indicator:

  • To issue high quality and more readable content.
  • To engage more students and postgraduates in the process of content creation.
  • To create more website pages to be indexed by the Google.
  • To create high-quality texts, which are likely to be reposted.
  • To post the VSUES website links on other websites, to use social networking more actively.

2. Presence (1/6 of weighing)

The indicator counts a total number of webpages hosted in the main webdomain (including all the subdomains and directories) of the university indexed by the Google search engine. The more webpages and files are indexed the better. The quality of the information in them is not taken into account. But still, Google does not index an empty webpage. The material inside should be informative.

This indicator ranked VSUES the 108th among all Russia’s higher education institutions in January 2015 and 132nd in July 2014. The low position can be explained by the small size of the VSUES website. The number of news stories posted on it was analyzed and the conclusion is that many universities post 2-3 times more news stories and announcements than VSUES.

Methods we use to improve the Presence indicator:

We create more webpages, which are based on the databases information, they are created automatically. They contain information on:

  1. Employees
  2. University divisions and departments
  3. Scientific and academic publications
  4. Learning materials
  5. Employees’ portfolios of several separate pages
  6. Academic programs
  7. Curricular
  8. Research projects
  9. Postgraduate students lists

Methods to be used to improve the Presence indicator:

  1. to make more of information from existing open databases. The information meant is course and graduation papers written by our students, lists of graduation papers, their abstracts and so on. For the purpose of improving the presence indicator it is planned:
  2. to open students portfolios
  3. to encourage the employees to fill in their portfolios
    1. to engage all VSUES divisions and departments in creating contents indexed by Google.
    2. to engage students and postgraduates in creating contents for webpages.
    3. to create more news about VSUES activities
    4. not to break existing links

3. Openness. 1/3 of weighting

This indicator takes into account the number of files, containing academic and research materials published in research and learning websites according to the academic search engine Google Scholar. Now the materials posted in 2010-2014 are being estimated. VSUES ranks the 32nd now, and it used to be the 50th in July 2014.

What is being done to de the Openness indicator?

  1. VSUES makes all academic and scientific publications open, for them to be indexed by GoogleScholar.
    1. Publications are requested to be uploaded not in scanned, but in text, PDF or Word formats.

Here are the ways to improve the Openness indicator:

  1. to ask teaching staff to register in GoogleScholar.
  2. to publish more research works
  3. to upload scientific and academic works to the academic materials depository on the VSUES website (it is now done on the “Employee’s portfolio” service)
  4. to upload full-size version of articles in PDF or Word formats to edited volumes
  5. to monitor the process of uploading of academic papers to the website. A full-size text format, PDF, or Word versions are preferable, so they can be easily indexed, the connection with VSUES will be easily defined.

 4. Exellence. 1/3 of weighting

The Excellence indicator counts the number of academic papers published in high impact international journals such as Wos and Scopus. The indicator has nothing to do with the website. The data collected within 2008-2012 are counted now, in 2015. Thus, both Far Eastern Federal University (FENU) and VSUES have low ranking. This is due to the fact that all the academic publications had been assigned to separate universities (Far Eastern State and Far Eastern Technical Universities) that existed before their merge. FENU is sure to improve the ranking when the data of 2013 or 2014 will be considered.

What is the way out?

It is to publish research and academic papers in high impact international journals.