MecE's publication record number two in the country

NTU measured Mechanical Engineering's publication record as just behind that of the U of T's

09 July 2019

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta is ranked second in the country, behind the University of Toronto, according to new results put out by the National Taiwanese University (NTU). The "Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities" by NTU began in 2007 in an effort to develop a ranking of world universities that is more objective than other available ranking systems. The study ranks the top 500 universities in the world in 14 subjects according to the scientific papers published by faculty and researchers at the world's universities.

NTU's 2019 rankings show that the University of Alberta's Department of Mechanical Engineering is second in Canada in terms of scientific publications by faculty, behind only the University of Toronto. What's more, the department has maintained that position for three out of the previous four years.

The indicators used by NTU are designed to compare both the quality and the quantity of the scientific publications in each university. The study examines a university's long term publication performance by measuring the average number of citations per subject area over the past 11 years. Short term performance is measured using both the number of citations as well as the h-index of the papers published in the previous two years. In this way, the short term index is a measure of not only the quantity of publications but also their quality.

Dr. Andre McDonald, Associate Chair (Research) in Mechanical Engineering says the ranking reflects efforts by the department to encourage high impact publications.

"The quantity and quality of publications from the department has improved as the result of a strategic focus on publishing in journals with high impact factors," he says. "It creates increased awareness of our research output."

Dr. McDonald also thinks that international collaborations by faculty in the department have improved the impact of their publications.

"In the past few years our faculty members have increased their national and international collaborations, which increases awareness of our research and citations of our research."

The department also benefits from the support of the university and the Faculty of Engineering.

"We receive support from the university's Office of the Vice President (Research) as well as the Dean's office. This support enables us to produce high-quality publications," says McDonald.

Of course, a department full of world class researchers helps too.