The Ranking Web of World repositories is carried out by the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group that is part of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain.  The objectives of the ranking is to support open access initiatives & free access to academic materials & scientific repositories.  

Every six months in January & in June, the Cybermetrics Lab publish their findings on the Webometrics website.  Institutional Repositories from all over the world are listed and ranked based on Country & Continent.  The most recent edition was released in July 2017, and eight university repositories in Kenya were captured in the rank.

A Treasure Trove

Institutional repositories serve not merely as a bibliographic database, but as a treasure trove of the academic and scientific output of its hosting institution.  In other words, the repository should be regarded as the byproduct of academia within the institution as well as the beacon that attracts researchers both within the host institution and in the rest of the world to the academic activities in the institution.

Institutions that tend to score highly in this ranking disseminate a large volume of research outcomes that are then cited and relied upon by scholars.  Dissemination may be through publishing in multiple highly reknowned journals, or presentations at high profile academic conferences.  A research oriented institution that produces high quality outcomes attracts the best and brightest research students who as a result add into the institution’s repository leading to a higher profile and rank.

Factors

Factors that Cybermetrics look at include the size of the repository, its visibility and number of subnets referring to it, number of rich files as well as social media shares, as well as amount of indexing on Google Scholar.  Therefore institutions that find themselves ranked in a position that is not favorable may need to review their open access policies as well as web policies with a view to increase the volume and quantity of electronic publications.

Institutions that do have repositories, but are not listed may also have to re-think their hosting and domain arrangements to ensure that they are visible and easily reachable by the Webometrics website.   Institutions that do not have a repository in place may need to consider setting one up using any number of open source repositories available and utilizing the best practices outlined on the Webometrics website to be ranked.

 A vibrant and continuously updated repository containing impactful research that is of high interest and easily cited leads to a higher ranking on the Webometrics website, and thus can be a positive indicator of high research outcomes and output from an institution. 

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