عنوان مقاله [English]
Earlier, in the Editorial note of the 13th issue of the journal, regarding the ranking of universities, these issues were raised that "Is the university that ranks first in the existing rankings and macro-rankings really the best in all disciplines and fields of science and technology?" and in that case, "Is it possible to be sure that such a university has the necessary capabilities and competencies to participate in all fields and specialized fields of science and technology?" After discussing this, it was finally emphasized that the processes and indicators of the existing ranking systems can be more efficient and effective if they put the ranking of universities on both their micro and macro levels simultaneously; So that in the micro-approach based on a subject-oriented perspective, the ranking of educational / research groups of universities should be on the agenda and the rank of each university specialty should be determined in relation to the rank of similar specialized groups in other universities. Then, based on the macro approach, the overall ranking of each university is determined based on the average rank of the total number of specialized departments of each university.
Nevertheless, the major question now is that even if micro and macro approaches are adopted by ranking systems and accept the undeniable importance of top rankings in ranking systems, "Is it right to enact laws to direct the focus and orientation of the activities of faculty and students towards the promotion of the university's international reputation?" If true, "What are the characteristics of these laws and regulations?" And if not, "then how can we expect universities to excel in these international ranking systems and take advantage of their undeniable advantages?" Although it takes more time to answer these questions, here are a few points:
1. The micro-approach to ranking allows for more accurate assessments and avoids errors which merely provide the overall ranking of universities in the macro-approach. Sometimes some higher education systems are quick to focus on legislation that requires students and faculty members to publish articles in international journals as much
as possible before thinking about the real purpose and philosophy of ranking systems. In some cases, such haste causes the basic features of these ranking systems to be ignored, and as a result, the higher education system ceases to identify capable academic groups and goes astray. Therefore, taking a micro-approach to rank can itself be an effective tool in better and more accurately explaining existing facts.
2. The fact is that despite the importance of rank for the university, if rules and regulations are enacted that affect the educational and research activities of students and researchers in a one-dimensional, one-sided and inconsistent with the university program and path, not only the results may be not desirable, but it can divert the university from its original quality and purpose and confront the scientific community with a huge volume of pseudo-research. As mentioned before in notes of the Research Week in 1393 and 1394 at Online News Agency in Iran, and also in the Editorial Note No. 6 of the Scientometrics Research Journal regarding pseudo-research and the factors affecting its growth, it was emphasized that the phenomenon of pseudo-research occurs mainly based on ephemeral needs and job or educational demands that are sometimes stimulated by the regulations and guidelines in the higher education system. Therefore, the rules and regulations that are set in this way should consider the essential conditions for conducting quality research and be consistent with the existing facts in this regard.
3. Although achieving outstanding rankings in ranking systems requires top scores in a wide range of educational, research, and other indicators, but this should not lead to ignoring the effectiveness of activities at the university and lead the university to enact laws that merely pursue a quantitative increase in academic output, albeit aimlessly, in scattered subject areas without the necessary quality. Hence, it is essential that universities, while maintaining the effectiveness of their activities, also move with authority in the path of gaining top rankings. To this end, each university should always draw its own missions and thematic fields according to the needs of the country and the international developments, and lead the faculty members and students to move in that direction. In this case, while preventing the dispersal of work, the effectiveness and quality of activities are maintained and the possibility of obtaining top rankings for the university is provided.
4. Another noteworthy point is the inextricable link between education and research; So that the quality of research cannot be expected to be strengthened by underestimating the quality of education. Education and research are always necessary for each other and many factors directly affect both of them. Attracting quality and efficient students and faculty members, appropriate support for targeted research and educational activities, preventing an unreasonable increase in the number of weak and inefficient higher education centers, providing appropriate electronic access to credible scientific resources, information literacy training, and many more are among the factors that can affect education and research and, consequently, directly affect the university ranking. It is clear that if the identification and provision of such factors are considered, the relationship between the rank obtained and the academic capacity of universities will be significantly closer to each other. In this case, it can be expected that more capable universities will have a better chance of gaining top international rankings; because these factors will lead universities to better education and research.