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WURS

WURS designed to simulate the university rankings can be used for different purposes. From an ordinary researcher who wants to explore the methodologies of the ranking systems, to an university administrator who wants to formulate a strategy to rise in rankings, a wide range of users can benefit from WURS.

WURS which has an easy-to-use interface is manipulated by sliders and buttons only. The interface window is divided down the middle, with the data visible in sliders to the left, and the results visible to the right. The three ranking systems and the two options for simulations which are the "Scaled scores" and the "Raw scores" are available from the menu along the top. After selecting them, the user can simply drag any slider to the desired position and observe the output displayed in the right hand panel.

In the "Scaled scores" you can explore the indicators and their effects on the overall score This window is useful for exploring the ranking systems but may not be suitable for a user intended to determine the position of an institution or develop a strategy to rise in the rankings. Because scaled scores are dimensionless quantities ranging from 0 to 100, and the relationship between the overall score and the scaled scores are always linear and consequently monotonic, which means any possible increase/decrease in the scaled scores always leads to an increase/decrease in the overall score. In other words, one cannot make any optimization with the scaled scores. Besides, people can only know the raw values of the indicators (doctorates awarded, income, number of academic staff, students, etc.), not the scaled scores corresponding to them. The "Raw scores" screen, however, provides a more convenient environment for simulation.

On the "Raw scores" screen, the user can manipulate all the variables defining the indicators and the reputation indicators as well. By the "variable", we mean the basic component of an indicator. For instance, in THE ranking, "Student-Domestic" is a variable of the indicators "Acad. staff to student ratio" and "Int.student to student ratio". Similarly, "Papers without international co-authored" is a variable of the indicators "Papers to acad. & res.staff ratio" and "Papers with int. co-authored to papers ratio". On the "Raw scores" screen, as the user changes the raw values of the variables by dragging the sliders, she can observe the corresponding estimated scaled scores of the indicators, the overall score and the resulting rank.

Non-enterprise edition of WURS 1.2 can be freely used for educational purposes in which there is no limit dealing with the calculations or on the functionality of sliders in the “Scaled scores” screen. The Enterprise edition is designed for higher education institutions. In this version, user can use the “Raw scores” screen, embed all the data belonging to her/his institution for all of the three ranking systems, construct a folder containing their own strategies the users of the institution developed, and get an institutional strategy report. In the strategy report, decision makers explore the position of their institutions related to ranking systems. The report also suggests institution-spesific strategies on rising in the rankings.

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