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Center for Collective Learning Launches “Rankless,” a new way to visualize the research impact of universities

2024-05-31 12:11:00

All universities produce impact that is specific to certain topics and geographies, but rankings flatten that information. Rankless wants to change that.
Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

The Center for Collective Learning (CCL) at Corvinus Insitute for Advanced Studies (CIAS) is excited to announce the launch of Rankless, a pioneering data visualization project that shifts the focus from traditional university rankings to a more nuanced, multidimensional perspective of university impact. 

Rankless is an interactive platform designed to explore and highlight the unique contributions of thousands of universities worldwide. By moving beyond rankings, the project offers a fresh perspective on how universities influence each geography and topic, emphasizing diverse forms of impact and providing a richer understanding of academic influence. 

Consider a comparison between the University of Utah and the University of Vienna (see figures below), two universities ranked similarly in the Shanghai ranking (in the 101-150 tier) that differ strongly in terms of their geographical and subject specialization. The University of Utah specializes in Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Medicine, and Psychology, whereas the University of Vienna specializes in Physics and Astronomy, Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Their geographic impact is also different. The University of Utah receives a large fraction of its citations from medical centers in the United States, Canda, and Israel, whereas the University of Vienna receives most of its citations from Austria, Germany, and Hungary, from technical institutes and universities with a similar specialization pattern, such as some Max Planck Institutes in Germany and the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. These differences help us understand the impact on universities in a way that rankings fail to capture. 

Rankless was developed by a talented team at CCL, an interdisciplinary research laboratory with offices at the University of Toulouse, and Corvinus University of Budapest. For over a decade, CCL has been at the forefront of economic development, data visualization, and artificial intelligence applications. Rankless was brought to life by Endre Borza, a Hungarian economist and data engineer who meticulously crafted the platform. The visually engaging and user-friendly design was created by Máté Barkóczi, a Hungarian designer currently interning at CCL as part of his Master’s at MOME, a Budapest basd University of Art and Design. The project management and coordination were expertly handled by Veronika Hamar, the Executive Director of CCL and the strategic guidance and scientific leadership of the project were provided by César A. Hidalgo, Director and founder of CCL. 

Most universities impact communities and topics in a way that is too specific to be captured by rankings.  Rankless illuminates the multidimensional impact of universities” said César A. Hidalgo.  

Rankless was developed with the support from the Learn Data ERA Chair, a project to develop research excellence in data science at Corvinus University funded by the European Research Executive Agency. Rankless uses data from OpenAlex, an open bibliographic dataset with a catalog of over 200 million works. Rankless continues CCL’s long-standing commitment to advancing the field of data visualization, following in the footsteps of renowned projects like The Observatory of Economic Complexity, Pantheon, and Data USA. 

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GEN.:2024.07.16. - 00:34:32