The University of New Mexico is ranked 76 out of 12,000 universities world-wide, based on web presence and web access, according to the Webometrics Rankings of World Universities. They rank UNM 62 out of the top 100 United States and Canadian universities.

Webometrics Rankings of World Universities, an initiative of Cybermetrics Lab, conducts quantitative analysis of the Internet and Web content, especially as it relates to the processes, generation and scholarly communication of scientific knowledge. Cybermetrics belongs to the Spanish Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, CSIS), the largest public research body in Spain. It is connected the Spanish Ministry of Education and collaborates with other Spanish research and development institutions.

Cybermetrics claims that web presence is a reliable indicator of global performance and prestige of universities and is an indirect way to measure universities' teaching, research and transfer missions. They rank universities to improve Web presence of academic and research institutions and to promote open access publication of scientific results. The ranking started in 2004 and is updated every January and July.

UNM's ranking could be attributable in part to services provided by University Libraries. Nancy Dennis, University Libraries associate dean for facilities and access services, noted several ways the libraries boosted free access to collections and resources.

"The Rocky Mountain Online Archive, managed by University Libraries, offers descriptions of archival collections at 23 institutions in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. LoboVault is an institutional repository providing electronic access to scholarly publications from UNM faculty, graduate student theses and dissertations, UNM administrative records, and more," she said.

Dennis added that UNM maintains an electronic reserves system which serves an average of 800 classes per semester and more than 500,000 document downloads per semester. Dennis said that the library also offers SORA, the Searchable Ornithological Research Archive. SORA provides electronic access to bird-related journals dating back to 1884.

UNM Website Administrator Matthew Carter said, "We have been working to implement more consistent branding and web best practices across various UNM websites. In doing so, we hope to see an increase in both the quality and visibility of our web presence. While content is still the most important component, how it is delivered and presented has an important impact on the visibility and reach of the content."

Webometrics extrapolated quantitative results in four categories provided by Yahoo, Google, Live Search and Exalead. Categories included Size, the number of pages recovered from those search engines; Visibility, the total number of unique external links received by a site; Rich Files, after evaluating their relevance to academic and publication activities and considering volume of different file formats, they assessed Adobe Acrobat, Adobe PostScript, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Powerpoint; and finally, Scholar, Google Scholar provides the number of papers and citations for each academic domain. The results represent papers, reports and other academic items.

A strong and detailed web presence that provides exact descriptions of the structure and activities of a university can attract new students and scholars worldwide, according to Webometrics.

For the complete list visit: Webometrics Rankings of World Universities.