I recall when these were first announced in 2009. The methodology seems quite thin. Asking deans, program directors and a single senior faculty from each school to rank all schools is little more than a reputational measurement limited by those few individual's (likely uneven) knowledge of the current status of other programs.

Compared to the robust (yet not uncontroversial) methodology used by US News for other school rankings -- which include empirical measures of placement rates, acceptance rates, expenditures per student, mean GPAs, student/faculty ratio, etc -- this is almost comical.


Michael Zimmer, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies
Co-Director, Center for Information Policy Research
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
e: [log in to unmask]
w: www.michaelzimmer.org

On Mar 17, 2011, at 6:53 PM, Gretchen Whitney wrote:

  I bring this to your attention because these two msgs are making the rounds of Web4Libs and other discussion lists tonite.
  The first is at
http://tinyurl.com/4dert6f which is a tiny version of the full URL at
The original msg represented here seemed to be unaware of t he fact that this data appears to be posted/gathered in 2009 - three years ago. But it is being posted as current (2011).
 The second is at
which is a tiny version of the full URL at
 The original posting seems to be based on three-year old data, which appears to be current, except for the little date of data collection of 2008.

 While this indeed old data, I bring this to your attention because it is appearing in my mailbox tonite as if it were current information.
 And I've not seen anything in ALISE or ASIST literature to dispute the US News claims. Or to provide any other rankings according to more reliable criteria however stated.

Gretchen Whitney, PhD, Retired
School of Information Sciences
University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA           [log in to unmask]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2011 14:02:27 -0400
From: Robert Balliot <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask], Publib <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [Web4lib] Library Science rankings

I have heard the phrase "When you are number 2, you try harder" :


With University of Rhode Island ranking last at 44, the phrase "No place to
go but up" comes to mind.

I would like to see the survey upon which they base these results.  But,
given that there is really no consequence for a failure to be competitive,
the results of the survey would be merely academic.


R. Balliot
Web4lib mailing list
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