Università di Salerno
Dipartimento di Informatica
Giuseppe Persiano

Why this page

I am very proud and excited to learn that the Dipartimento di Informatica, of which I am a member, has been ranked first from among the large departments in Area 01 (which includes Mathematics and Computer Science). See the table on the first page of this document or this summary.
A list of the members of the department is here.
You can stop here and be happy for me or read further for more information.

More information

  1. Who computed the ranking?
    The ranking has been announced by ANVUR-Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del sistema Universitario e della Ricerca (National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research system).
  2. On what was it based?
    Each university professor and researcher is expected to submit three of his research products (for Computer Science, these are mainly papers) from the period [2004-2010].
    A paper could only be submitted by one member of the department even if it was co-authored by more than one member.
  3. What happened to the research products?
    The whole universe is partitioned by CUN-Consiglio Universitario Nazionale (Italian National University Council) into 14 areas. Computer Science (Informatica in Italian) belongs to Area 01.
    For each of the 14 areas, ANVUR created a GEV-Gruppo Esperti Valutatori (Group of Expert Evaluators).
    The 26 members of the Area 01 GEV are listed in Table 1.2 (page 18) of the Area 01 final report.
    Members of the Area 01 GEV are arranged in 4 SubGEVs (see Table 1.3 on page 19 of the Area 01 final report).
    The Computer Science SubGEV was coordinated by Pierangela Samarati from the Università di Milano, Milan, Italy, and it consists of 4 professors from Italian universities and 3 professor from foreign institutions.
    I note that Alfredo De Santis, my colleague in Salerno, is a member of the Computer Science SubGEV and, of course, he did not deal with any of the research products of the Department.
    As I understand, one of the main tasks of the GEV was to assign reviewers to papers.
  4. Who are the reviewers?
    I do not know their names. Ever heard of blind reviewing? I do know from Table 2.1 on page 34 of the Area 01 final report that the Computer Science SubGEV employed 10 Italian reviewers and 112 non-Italian reviewers. The 10 Italian reviewers produced 25 reviews and the 112 non-Italian reviewers produced 1501. In other words, 98.4% of the reviews of the CS SubGEV were from non-Italian reviewers.
  5. So all papers were read by reviewers?
    No. The CS SubGEV used reviews for all books, chapters in books and conference proceedings, patents, data bases and software. Papers in journals were also scored using bibliometrics criteria and were divided in 4 classes. The top class contains the top 20% journals, the next 20% belong to the second class, the next 10% to the third class and the bottom 50% journals were in class 4. Criteria for inclusion of journal in a class are described on page 30 of the Area 01 final report and in Appendix B of the same report that is found in this document.
    The list of journals considered and their partition into classes is in Appendix C of the Area 01 final report found on page 44 of this document.
    From Table 2.14 on page 45 of the Area 01 final report, we see of the 2232 CS research products, 48.48% were peer reviewed and 72.27% were scored using bibliometrics (and thus for 20.74% the SubGEV used reviews and bibliometrics).
  6. What was the output of the review/bibliometrics?
    The process assigned to each research product a score determined as follows: To have an idea, in Area 01 the average score is 0.6 and 41.94% of the research products were considered excellent (see this table). As I understand from the table on the first page of this document, 78.9% of the research products submitted by members of the department were considered excellent.
    Table 4.22 starting on page 107 of this document has lots information about the scores of the Area01 departments. For our department, you can read that 32 members of the department were evaluated (from the #SV column) and that 65.63% (21 out of 32) of the members of the department had average score 1 (from the MV=1 column). This means that all submitted research products submitted by these colleagues were considered excellent.
  7. Wait a minute, son. You're cheating me!
    I know! I know! Let me explain.
    As I said at the beginning, ANVUR says that we are first among the large departments of AREA 01. Then, if you look at Table 4.3 on page 69 of this document, it seems that we are ranked 7th. Let me explain.
    There are two sources of confusions: the fact that Area01 includes Math and Computer Science; the fact that ANVUR has used different criteria to classify departments as small, medium or large. According to the criteria used in Table 4.3 we are small (piccolo in Italian). However if you look at the 6 departments ahead of us in this specific ranking, you can see that they are composed mostly by mathematicians. Specifically, by querying the Minister at this url you find out that
    1. The Dipartimento Ingegneria dell'Energia Elettrica e dell'Informazione Guglielmo Marconi of the Università di Bologna has no CS person;
    2. Trieste SISSA has no CS person;
    3. The Dipartimento Economia e Management of the Università di Brescia has no CS person;
    4. The Dipartimento Ingegneria of the Università di Bergamo has no CS person;
    5. Università Milano Bicocca has several CS persons in various department but the entry in Table 4.3 refers to faculty members that do not belong to any department; I am not sure what this means.
    6. The Dipartimento Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria of Politecnico di Milano has 2 CS persons.
    So it is safe to say that even according to Table 4.3 we are first among the Computer Science departments.
  8. What about Table 4.4?
    This table refers to the old departments (ante L.240-10 in Italian). We changed the structure of the departments to be compliant with law 240-2010 (also called Legge Gelmini after minister M. Gelmini of neutrino tunnel fame).
  9. Don't you have something just for CS?
    You want to take a look at Table 4.10 on page 91 of this document that ranks the medium sized CS department and we are ranked first. Don't ask me how we became medium.
    But then look at Table 4.16 on page 96 of this document where the large departments are ranked. You can see from Table 4.10 that our average score (Voto medio in Italian) is 0.89 and the average score of the best large department is 0.75.
    Table 4.7 on page 84 of this document ranks the small departments. Matematica at Padova is ranked first in CS (INF/01 in Italian) with average score 0.90. The department has indeed 12 very strong CS persons. Again, query the Minister at this url to verify this data.
    Finally, note that Table 4.7 does include a department of the Università di Salerno. However, this entry does not refer to the Dipartimento di Informatica but rather to the DISTRA, a department of the former Faculty of Economics that includes several strong CS colleagues.
As a final obvious note, this page is mine and my colleagues in the Department might or might not share my excitement about this matter.

Official documents from the ANVUR web site:
Ranking of the departments
Summary for the press
Final report of the AREA01 GEV
Tables for AREA 01