You can debate the validity of these metrics endlessly. You can question whether citations and pubs are the best indicators of university quality and impact, and you can deliberate over whether or not the social sciences and humanities should be evaluated using metrics grounded in a physical sciences "lab output" model. Yet according to a calculation of publications and citations, Harvard University tops the recent Chronicle of Higher Ed rankings of doctoral research universities. At #2, UCSF ranks as the top public university overall, and Berkeley and UWisc are the other top placing public universities at #12 and #13 respectively (just behind Penn and Princeton, but ahead of Stanford.)
In my specialty area, my former home at Ohio State where I spent the past three years on the faculty places at #3 among media research programs, and Cornell where I did my PhD places at #5 among communication departments. When the Chronicle crunched the numbers, it's encouraging to think that my 100+ citations over the past four years helped give these programs at least a drop-in-the-bucket, mini-boost in the rankings. Congrats to all!
Small point - UCSF is a public university.
I quickly went to the site to see how Cambridge and Oxford did relative to Harvard. They weren't even in the top ten! Then I realized that only American schools were ranked.
This wasn't clear from the title of your post! One could easily get a false impression. :-)
Larry, there's a ranking by a chiness university I don't remember where on the web. It's a top 500 from all around the world. You can try to find it. I think thaht Harvard is first, then Cambridge second.
I see these lists from time to time and they always leave me feeling fortunate I live in the Bay Area.
Good research universities can have a big effect locally. For a few years, years ago, when I was out of state and the topic was appropriate, I'd ask people why Silicon Valley was were it was. I don't remember anyone knowing, and it's the third Bay Area school, Stanford, which comes in at 15.
was where it was
"was were it was" was weird.