Bookcases full of books in the TU Delft library
Just under three-quarters of TU Delft’s scientific publications are open access. This is less than most other universities in the Netherlands. (Photo: Dalia Madi)

Leiden Ranking assesses academic impact, gender, open access and collaboration to measure university performance. TU Delft scores the lowest in the Netherlands on two points.

Lees in het Nederlands

For the seventh consecutive year the producers of the Leiden Ranking do their evaluation a little differently than other rankings. They do not choose a ‘winner’, but let interested readers see for themselves which academic institutions do well where.

They do not assess the reputation of universities nor the quality of the education. The emphasis lies in the academic ‘impact’ of universities. The producers measure this by looking at the number of times that an academic article is cited in other articles. They also look at the number of female authors of articles, the number of open access publications, and the number of publications that emerged from collaboration with others.

Impact: TU Delft ninth in the Netherlands
The University of Utrecht scores well on academic impact: on average, 8.1% of its publications are in the top 5% of the world. It is also the university that produces the highest number of publications in the Netherlands by far. The Free University of Amsterdam (VU) (7.9%) comes second in the country and Wageningen University (7.7%) third. TU Delft comes ninth, out of the 13 universities, at 7.3% of the publications that belong to the top 5% in the world.

The physical sciences and engineering field scores highest on impact

TU Delft’s research in the Leiden Ranking is divided into five parts. Looking at these, differences emerge. In physical sciences and engineering, 8.1% of the publications are in the top 5%. In biomedical and health sciences, this is only 5.4%.

The top in the Netherlands itself looks different in terms of the percentage of publications that belong in the top 1% of the world. In this case, the Free University of Amsterdam comes first (1.8%), almost drawing with Utrecht University (1.8%). TU Delft is close behind at 1.6%, again with physical sciences and engineering as the highest scoring area at 1.8%, so equalling the Free University of Amsterdam in total.

Gender: TU Delft at the bottom
The Ranking also looks at the number of female and male authors of publications. Nowhere in the Netherlands do women outnumber men. The percentage of female authors at the Free University of Amsterdam is the highest at 41.8%. Erasmus University is not far behind at 40.9%.

11.2 percent of TU Delft’s partners are within a 100-kilometer radius

TU Delft scores the lowest in the Netherlands at 17.7%. There are large differences among the subjects. The social sciences and humanities have the most female authors at TU Delft: 28% of the publications. Mathematics and computer science have the least: 14.4%.

Collaboration: TU Delft last
With 91.7% of the publications arising from collaboration with others, the Free University of Amsterdam also does well in terms of collaboration in the Netherlands. No university in the Netherlands is below 80%, but TU Delft does come last with an average of 81.6%. The Ranking looks at different ways of collaboration, such as with other institutions, internationally and with industry, some of which may overlap. A distinction is also made between local (within a radius of 100 kilometres) and long distance collaboration (over 5,000 kilometres).

The TU Delft academics that work the most with other institutions work in the area of biomedical and health sciences, with 91.7% of the publications arising from partnerships. In life and earth sciences, researchers publish more with international partners than in other TU Delft subjects: 74.5% of the publications. In this subject, most publications, at 12.8%, came about with industry. For TU Delft as a whole, this is an average of 11.5%.

Looking at where TU Delft partners are located, 11.2% are within a radius of 100 kilometres and 35.5% are more than 5,000 kilometres away. So a little more than half of TU Delft’s partners are somewhere in between.

Open Access: TU Delft in eleventh place
According to the Leiden Ranking, the University of Groningen tops the Netherlands in terms of open access: 87.8% of its publications are freely accessible. The Universities of Leiden and Maastricht both score 83.1%. TU Delft got stuck at an average of 73.7% and ended up eleventh. Here too there are differences at TU Delft between research areas. Biomedical and health sciences scores the highest at 81.3%. Mathematics and computer science scores the lowest at 71.8%.

HOP, Josefine van Enk
Delta, Saskia Bonger