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Research

Research Activities at the University of Tsukuba
World University Comparisons in Sport Sciences Physical Education and Kinesiology 2015

Introduction

About World University Comparisons in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology 2015

The University of Tsukuba in Japan is launching a new initiative, the “World University Comparisons in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology 2015”. In this comparison, Thomson Reuters acted as the data provider to University of Tsukuba and also provided technical support to help them develop the comparison methodology.

The University of Tsukuba has initiated this project to tackle the long-standing challenge it has faced: 'How to evaluate activities of Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology departments by using globally standardized metrics.'

The intention of the “World University Comparisons in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology 2015” is to collect and analyze data concerning the quality and impact of teaching, research, competitive sports performed by Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology departments at universities throughout the world. This initiative is intentionally bold in scope and will seek to measure the impact of university activities by using a broad spectrum of non-traditional indicators.

Working closely with many contacts from universities throughout the world, we have created the first global comparisons in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology. There may be challenges in the precise definition and scope of the indicators and we plan to continue this initiative to better understand the fields of Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology whilst improving the methodology.

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Result

"World University Comparisons in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology 2015" lists the only Outstanding Global Universities in the field for teaching capacity, research capability, competitive sports practice and overall.
Nineteen universities across four continents have submitted their departmental data.

Outstanding Global Universities in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology

Teaching Capacity




Research Capability





Competitive Sports Practice



Overall


* Alphabetical order within each category

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Methodology

Overview

The data for “World University Comparisons in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology 2015” is derived from three sources:

  • - Departmental survey to collect departmental capacity and activity from the participating universities
  • - Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science to show research publications and their impacts in the related area
  • - Thomson Reuters’ Reputation survey to capture universities’ reputational standing in the related area

We then selected appropriate indicators and calculated the scores by categories: teaching capacity, research capability and competitive sports practice.

Comparisons categories and data sources

Data source Data coverage Teaching capacity Research capability Competitive sports practice
Survey Department 11 7 10
Bibliometrics
(Web of Science)
University in the related area - 5 -
Academic reputation survey University in the related area - 2 -

We employed rank based score for each category. The weighted rank scores for each indicator were summed up to obtain category total. Also, overall score is the sum of weighted score from 3 different categories.

Teaching Capacity
35%
Research Capability
50%
Competitive Sports Practice
15%

On the public website, only Outstanding Global University in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology for each category and overall are displayed. The Outstanding Global Universities are selected when the weighted score on each category or overall exceeds 70% of the category maximum score.

 

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Data Sources

Survey

The departmental survey was sent to the universities across the globe which fulfill the following parameters:

  • - Has a designated school, department or program in the related area
  • - Has published papers in Sport Sciences category in Web of Science
  • - Has been listed up by the respondents who selected “Sport Sciences” in Thomson Reuters Academic Reputation Survey

Also, there are other universities which are included in the project because they were recommended by the other participating universities even if they were not originally included.
The participating universities are required to provide their departmental data for fiscal year 2013.

Bibliometrics (Web of Science)

In this project, we use Thomson Reuters Web of Science as the data source of academic research output. In order to represent the research output of departments of Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology, publications from ‘Sport Sciences’ subject category were collected from Web of Science for the past 5 years, 2009-2013. Research outputs which are related to the field but appear in journals outside of the Sport Sciences subject category were also added to the base publication set by including citing and cited papers from papers within the Sport Sciences subject category.
This approach is a good estimation of the publications in the related fields by each university. However, it does not necessarily correspond to the research output by the related department.

About Web of Science and subject category
The Web of Science’s multidisciplinary content covers over 12,000 of the highest impact journals worldwide—including open access journals—and over 160,000 conference proceedings.

The Web of Science category schema includes around 250 subject areas in science, social sciences and arts & humanities. The subject categories are journal based (with the exception of multi-disciplinary category). Each journal is assigned to at least one subject category, indicating a general area of science or social science while journals may be included in more than one subject category.

For more detail, please visit Web of Science website.

Scope note of "Sport Sciences" in Web of Science
Sport Sciences covers resources on the applied physiology of human performance, physical conditioning for sports participation, optimal nutrition for sports performance, and the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries and diseases. This category also includes resources on sport psychology and sociology. List of journals may be found here.

 

Academic Reputation Survey

In this project, we take advantage of Thomson Reuter’s reputational survey data and extract those responses only in Sport Sciences from the past 5 years, 2010-2014, to identify highly recognized universities in this area.

Thomson Reuters polls academics from around the world by asking their feedback on what they consider to be the strongest universities and research institutions in their discipline. The survey is carefully designed to generate robust and meaningful results. In 2014 surveys, around 90 percent of the 60,000+ survey participants were academic faculty or researchers from approximately 150 countries. On average, they have more than 17 years experience working in academia.

This also does not necessarily correspond to the department research level but well describes the reputation in the related area of the university.

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Indicators

The indicators have been selected from multiple aspects in order to illustrate the teaching capacity, research capability, competitive sports practice of universities. Some indicators are calculated in two different ways to express the efficiency which is independent from the size of university:

  • - Non-adjusted value, if appropriate. For example, "Number of sponsored students".
  • - Adjusted by size of university. For example, "Number of sponsored students per Total students".

The selected indicators are then weighted into High, Mid and Low based on their importance, data availability, reliability, robustness and fairness.

Data Adjustment

We applied data adjustment as follows for those indicators with inadequate data. For example, some universities could not provide data for certain questions because of the difficulty with data collection or their current system does not provide relevant data to complete the questionnaires, such as competitive sports practice for kinesiology department.

In case of missing data and missing "detail information", we replaced the blank responses with the lowest value among other universities for the indicator.

During our verification process, we found particular data points as an outlier to the other universities. For those universities which have such data points, we verified the data correction with the universities. On the rare occasion when the universities did not respond to our inquiry, we convert those data points to the average value among other universities.

List of Indicators

The indicators are reflective of the department only, not the whole university, except the indicators with "+" as described below.
Also, some indicators include the number of student or the number of staff in which;

  • "Total students" includes undergraduates and graduate students (Master and Doctoral course) in the department.
  • "Total staff" includes both academic and research staff.
  • The number of students and staff should be reported on Full Time Equivalent (FTE) basis instead of headcount. The way of FTE/headcount conversion is recommended as follows.
  •    1 Full Time head count = 1 FTE
  •    1 Part Time head count = 0.33 FTE

 

The indicators with "*" are verified through the additional information that the universities provided as a breakdown of the value of indicators. For example, the universities provided "Number of doctoral degree" and corresponding name of degrees.

The indicators with "+" represent the value in the related area of the university not the departments. For example, "total papers" means total number of papers in the expanded Sport Sciences category by the university and does not correspond to the output by the related department.

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Teaching Capacity

We have collated and chosen the data points below to represent departmental teaching opportunity, performance, diversity, and international outlook.

Opportunity
Indicator Weight Description
Academic staff / 100 Total students Mid The number of academic staff per 100 Total students.

This indicator reflects the university’s teaching capability to provide the students with sufficient educational opportunity.
Sponsored Students Low The number of students who receive scholarship (not limited to Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology related scholarship) admitted in 2013.

This indicator aims to represent the university’s capability to attract wide range of high performing students.
Sponsored students / Total students Low The number of sponsored students per Total students.
Performance
Indicator Weight Description
Doctoral degree awarded High The number of advanced research degrees (PhD and equivalent) awarded during 2013.

This is a relevant indicator of commitment of scientific education.
Employment rate Low The percentage of those graduates who were working or studying out of those who were working, studying or unemployed and seeking work 12 months after graduation.

This indicator dictates the level of human resource development.
Diversity
Indicator Weight Description
Number of doctoral degree (*) Mid The number of degrees provided to doctoral course students.

This metric identifies the variety of high level education.
Number of class Mid The number of class (subjects, courses) provided in undergraduates and graduate school.

This indicator shows the coverage of multiple disciplinary.
International Outlook
Indicator Weight Description
International students Low The number of students whose nationality is different from the country in which the university is based.

This metric identifies how much each university attracts students from other countries.
International students / Total students Low The ratio of international students to Total students.
International academic staff Low The number of academic staff whose nationality is different from the country in which the university is based.

This indicator reflects how much each university attracts staff from other countries.
International academic staff / academic staff Low The ratio of international academic staff to total number of academic staff.

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Research Capability

We have collected and chosen the data points below to represent departmental research opportunity, performance, impact and international outlook. Indicators for research performance and impact are also derived from bibliometric data and reputation survey which are defined not by the related departments but related areas of each university.

Opportunity
Indicator Weight Description
Research income(USD) Mid The amount of income that the department had acquired during 2013 specifically for purposes of conducting research.

Research income is one of the valuable indicators to assess how much the university has competitiveness to acquire the fund and financial resource in order to advance its research.
Research income / Total staff Mid The amount of research income per Total staff.
Performance & Impact
Indicator Weight Description
International research prize (*) Low The number of international research prizes that Total students and Total staff have been awarded during 2013.

This indicator represents how successful the university has been in the research community with excellent outcomes.
International research prize /Total staff Low The Number of awarded international research prizes per Total staff.
Total papers (+) Mid Total number of papers in the expanded Sport Sciences category by the university.

This indicator represents the university’s capability to produce research papers that are published in quality peer-reviewed journals.
Top10% Papers (+) Mid The number of papers that are ranked in the top 10 percent of the most highly cited papers in expanded Sport Sciences category by the university.

This indicator provides a clear measure of university’s capability to publish influential research papers.
Top10% papers / total papers (+) Mid The number of Top10% papers per total papers.
International journal editorial board members Mid The number of Total staff serving for international journals regularly published in English.

This indicator represents the university’s contribution to the world-wide research community.
International journal editorial board members / Total staff Mid The number of Total staff defined as above per Total staff.
Global Reputation (+) High The global poll results for the university from the Academic Reputation Survey in Sport Sciences over five years.

This indicator reflects the best research universities globally recognized in Sport Sciences.
Regional Reputation (+) Mid The regional poll results for the university from the Academic Reputation Survey in Sport Sciences over five years.

This indicator reflects the best research universities regionally recognized in Sport Sciences.
International Outlook
Indicator Weight Description
International co-authored papers (+) Low The number of papers that contain international co-authors in expanded Sport Sciences category by the university.

This indicator dictates research engagement in the international scientific community.
International co-authored papers / total papers (+) Low The number of international co-authored papers per total papers.
International collaboration –MOU (*) Low The number of international research collaboration agreements (inter-department collaborations only).

This indicator represents the international connection with other departments.

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Competitive Sports Practice

We have collated and selected the data points below to represent departmental sporting performance and opportunity.

These indicators are a key feature of this comparison as we consider competitive sports practice to be one of the vital factors on a par with teaching capacity and research capability to create accurate profile of the target departments. However, we recognize that some universities are less related to sports practice as a department. For example, those in Oceania where elite athletes tend to go to Sports Academies or those in North America with a Kinesiology department which are less related to sports practice.

Performance
Indicator Weight Description
Medals in Olympics and Paralympics (*) High The number of medals that acquired by Total staff and Total students in the Olympics/Paralympics during 2011-2014.

This indicator aims to identify the university’s competitiveness and excellence in the world-class sports competition.
Medals in World Championships and World Cups (*) High The total number of medals that acquired by Total staff and Total students in the World Championships/World Cups of the selected sports during 2011-2014.
Medals / 1,000 Total students in Major Int’l Championships (*) Mid The number of medals per 1,000 Total students.
Athletes in Olympics, Paralympics (*) Mid The number of Total students and Total staff competed in the Olympics/Paralympics during 2011-2014.

This indicator aims to reflect the university’s activities in the world-class sports competition. In addition, this is a proxy to show the university’s capability to develop excellent athletes.
Athletes in World Championships and World Cups (*) Mid The number of Total students and Total staff in the World Championships and World Cups of the selected sports during 2011-2014.
Athletes / 1,000 Total students in Major Int’l Championships (*) Mid The number of athletes per 1,000 Total students.

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Definition of Major International Championships

The scope of comparison covers only sports events listed in the Olympic in the following international championships.

  • 1. Olympics, Paralympics (2012 London and 2014 Sochi)
  • 2. World Championships (During 2011 January – 2014 December)
  • 3. World Cups for Football and Field Hockey only (During 2011 January – 2014 December)

List of 54 sports events in 2012 London and 2014 Sochi Olympics

No. Name No. Name No. Name
1 Alpine Skiing 19 Equestrian / Dressage 37 Shooting
2 Archery 20 Equestrian / Eventing 38 Short Track Speed Skating
3 Athletics 21 Equestrian / Jumping 39 Skeleton
4 Badminton 22 Fencing 40 Ski Jumping
5 Basketball 23 Figure skating 41 Snowboard
6 Beach Volleyball 24 Football 42 Speed skating
7 Biathlon 25 Freestyle Skiing 43 Swimming
8 Bobsleigh 26 Gymnastics Artistic 44 Synchronized Swimming
9 Boxing 27 Gymnastics Rhythmic 45 Table Tennis
10 Canoe Slalom 28 Handball 46 Taekwondo (Sparring)*
11 Canoe Sprint 29 Hockey 47 Tennis
12 Cross Country Skiing 30 Ice Hockey 48 Trampoline
13 Curling 31 Judo 49 Triathlon
14 Cycling BMX 32 Luge 50 Volleyball
15 Cycling Mountain Bike 33 Modern Pentathlon 51 Water Polo
16 Cycling Road 34 Nordic Combined 52 Weightlifting
17 Cycling Track 35 Rowing 53 Wrestling Freestyle
18 Diving 36 Sailing 54 Wrestling Greco-Roman

* Patterns, Special techniques, Power breaking are OUT of scope for Taekwondo.

Opportunity
Indicator Weight Description
Students admitted by sports ability Low The number of Total students who were admitted to the department as a result of their sporting abilities during 2013.

This indicator shows the university’s capacity to offer educational opportunities for talented students.
Students admitted by sports ability / Total students Low The number of students defined as above per Total students.
Staff in club Low The number of academic staffs who are operational staff in the sports club of the university.

This metric identifies the scale of internal professional resource to support sports club of the university.
Staff in club / academic staff Low The number of academic staff defined as above per total number of academic staff.

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Participating Universities

Nineteen universities across four continents have submitted their departmental data. The list of universities follows:

List of participating universities

America (4)
Europe (7)
Asia (5)
Oceania (3)
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