, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 371–384 | Cite as

Inconsistent transliteration of Iranian university names: a hazard to Iran’s ranking in ISI Web of Science

  • Mohammad Reza Falahati Qadimi Fumani
  • Marzieh Goltaji
  • Pardis Parto


Today, university ranking has turned into a critical issue in the world. Each university is identified with a surface form under which the whole performance of that university is assessed. This article intends to provide a clear picture of the inconsistencies observed in recording Iranian university titles by their affiliated authors and to clarify the negative impact of such inconsistencies in positioning Iranian universities in global university ranking systems. To collect various surface forms of Iranian university names, use was made of ISI Web of Science through keywords Cu = Iran and py = 2000–2009. Only MSRT universities were considered. Two M.A. experts listed all variant forms of a single university under that name. The form publicized in a university’s website was considered as its entry name. The major sources of variation identified were as follows: Acronyms, misspellings, abbreviations, space variations, syntactic permutation, application of vowels/consonants and vowel/consonant combinations, /a/vs./aa/, Tashdid, Kasra ezafe, redundancy, downcasing, voiceless glottal stop sound /?/, shortening and deletion of titles. It was found that at its present shape Iranian universities are not receiving the rank they really deserve simply because authors affiliated to a university use university title forms inconsistently. It was recommended that authors follow the surface form publicized by universities in their websites, use the help of an editor in their works, and not be credited for their articles in case the forms deviate from those publicized through the websites. A spell checker, as an add-ins software is highly needed to homogenize Iranian university surface forms by replacing the variants by the dominant form proposed.


University ranking systems Iranian universities ISI Web of Science Persian-English transliteration Misspellings Information retrieval Persian orthography Downcasing 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Reza Falahati Qadimi Fumani
    • 1
  • Marzieh Goltaji
    • 2
  • Pardis Parto
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Computational Linguistics Research DepartmentRegional Information Center for Science and Technology, RICeSTShirazIran
  2. 2.Islamic World Science Citation CenterShirazIRAN
  3. 3.Department of Evaluation and Collection Development, RICeSTShirazIran

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