Reverse-engineering conference rankings: What does it take to make a reputable conference?

Peep Küngas, Siim Karus, Svitlana Vakulenko, Marlon Dumas, Cristhian Parra, Fabio Casati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, several national and community-driven conference rankings have been compiled. These rankings are often taken as indicators of reputation and used for a variety of purposes, such as evaluating the performance of academic institutions and individual scientists, or selecting target conferences for paper submissions. Current rankings are based on a combination of objective criteria and subjective opinions that are collated and reviewed through largely manual processes. In this setting, the aim of this paper is to shed light into the following question: to what extent existing conference rankings reflect objective criteria, specifically submission and acceptance statistics and bibliometric indicators? The paper specifically considers three conference rankings in the field of Computer Science: an Australian national ranking, a Brazilian national ranking and an informal community-built ranking. It is found that in all cases bibliometric indicators are the most important determinants of rank. It is also found that in all rankings, top-tier conferences can be identified with relatively high accuracy through acceptance rates and bibliometric indicators. On the other hand, acceptance rates and bibliometric indicators fail to discriminate between mid-tier and bottom-tier conferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-665
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bibliometrics
  • Citation counts
  • Computer science
  • Conference acceptance rate
  • Conference rankings
  • Objective criteria
  • Publication counts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Law

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