). Quantitative vs Qualitative Research Performance of Indian Universities, 2009-13: A comparative study

S M Dhawan, B M Gupta, Ashok Kumar, Jivesh Bansal

Abstract


This study analyses performance and ranking of top 95 Indian universities out of a total of 138 Indian institutions covered in SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR) 2013 report, data for which covers the period 2009-13. The first part of the paper compares top 95 universities for their quantitative and qualitative performance in research and concludes that quantity, not quality, is still the major strength of leading universities in India. Of top 95 universities, only 23 (24%) performed above average on quality indicator q2 (1.01 ~ 2.32, world average value is 1).  In a comparative ranking study of top 30 universities, it was found that ranking positions of universities across four indicators were in disagreement varying with low to high margins. In a comparative study of publications shares across two rankings, the study found top 13 universities ranked on publications output (quantity) accounted for higher level publication share (65.4% of top 30 universities) compared to that (50.2%) of top 13 high-quality ranking universities. These findings suggest that top universities differ significantly in their qualitative and quantitative performance in research. The study also found that progression in quantity of research in universities over time does not result in a corresponding progression in quality of research. Thus publishing more, and more often, is not going to push up quality research in universities, or downsizing publication productivity is not going to push up quality. To push up quality of research, universities need to focus rather more on publishing in bulk original, innovative contributions with path-breaking results. The second part of the paper compares 95 universities for their quantitative and qualitative performance in research region wise across five broad geographical areas in the country: North India, South India, Western India, Eastern India and Central India.  Here the longitudinal performance of various universities in each region is studied and compared. The study concluded that North India is the national leader leading the region in the country with 8 top high-quality universities in research compared to other regions.


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