Table of contents

Chapter One: Obligation
Chapter Two: NUR Data Completion Mechanism
Chapter Three: Definitions
Chapter Four: Student Spreadsheet
Chapter Five: Master spreadsheet
Chapter Six: Ranking spreadsheet
Chapter Seven: How to keep your journal approved by NUR
Chapter Eight: Google Scholar Citation (GSC)
Chapter Nine: News and online proofs

Chapter One: Obligation

By using the NUR ranking spreadsheets, you agree on:
  1. To do not trying to edit title, header, or drop down list in the spreadsheet.
  2. To do not changing the cell/text format and color of the spreadsheet.
  3. To comply with guidelines and notes presented in this handbook to complete the spreadsheet.
  4. The University focal point with the NUR account is the responsible one for the data entry and its quality.
  5. The University must be ready to submit any requested evidence or proof letter of the submitted data within no more one working day in case of the request by the NUR Admin.

Chapter Two: NUR Data Completion Mechanism

National University Ranking (NUR) scoring is based on the data submitted by the University (Public and Private). The data is submitted by completing three spreadsheets:
  1. NUR Master spreadsheet
  2. NUR Ranking spreadsheet
  3. NUR Students spreadsheet

  • The submitted data should belong to activities taken place between September 1st till August 31 of the next year.
  • The deadline for the data submission is 31 August at 11:59 pm of every year.

Chapter Three: Definitions

Teaching Staff Member:
An academic who has the following:
  1. M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree.
  2. Academic title approved by the University/MHE.
  3. Teaching with weekly load.
  4. Permanent (Milak) or visiting lecturer.

An academic who has the following:
  1. M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree.
  2. Academic title approved by the University/MHE.
  3. Weekly academic duty at the University, available physically.
  4. Belongs to one of the University Department.
  5. Online researcher is not considered.

Research Paper:
A paper published in a journal that:
  1. Indexed by Clarivate Analytics, or SCOPUS (Q1, Q2, Q3), or published by a University inside Kurdistan and approved by NUR.
  2. Having metadata that shows the author's affiliation including the department, this is a compulsory.
  3. Research Center affiliation is not accepted.
  4. The metadata should show the author's affiliation with the exact University name, any altered name will not be considered.

Conference Paper:
A paper that presented physically (oral or poster) in a conference and deposited to a repository:
  1. Indexed by Clarivate Analytics, or
  2. Indexed by SCOPUS, or
  3. belongs to a KRG-University e-platform that shows a metadata of the paper having a doi.
  4. The authors's names in the metadtata should be naked, no title and no post.
The metadata should show the author's affiliation with the exact University name, any altered name will not be considered.


International Conference inside Kurdistan
The Universities inside Kurdistan can hold an international conference with the following conditions:
  1. The conference should be announced at least 6 months before the date of the conference.
  2. 20% of the the scientific committee should be from outside Iraq.
  3. 20% of the accepted, presented and published papers should be by authors from outside Iraq.
  4. At least, one keynote speaker from outside Iraq.
  5. The conference should be available on an electronic platform under the University domain (sub-domain).
  6. The conference electronic platform should make the abstracts/papers available online.
  7. The conference should have a licence, archive and review policies.
  8. No more than 20% of the accepted papers can be re-reviewed again and published in a scientific Journal.
  9. Publishing the whole conference papers in a scientific journal as a journal paper submission or under a special issue are not accepted.
  10. It is possible that the accepted papers to be deposited to an indexed repository and be published as conference papers.
  11. The e-platform show show the number of conference accepted papers, the number of presented papers and the number of international presented papers.

Author's Affiliation:
It is the author belonging that should be written in the published research papers and the online paper metadata, clearly and according to the following format:
  1. Department of xxxxxx, Faculty of xxxxxx, xxxxx University, City, Country.
  2. The "Department is a compulsory".
  3. The author's affiliation should not contain more than two Universities, as a maximum.
  4. During a one academic year, all author's papers should be affiliated to same one or two Universities, as a maximum. 
  5. Starting from September 2020, an author with double affiliation will not be considered, only the first affiliation will be considered.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
For the Journal published inside Kurdistan, doi should be linked to the published paper metadata page. Any doi connected/linked to the PDF file of the published paper is not considered. 
Any journal that does not follow this standard its papers will not be considered, though it is approved by NUR.


NUR Black list:
The NUR-MHE is always supporting good practicing in publishing research works. Hence it encouraging all researchers and academic staff to be aware where to publish their works. the NUR Black List includes:
  1. Predatory Journals List, applicable since Feb. 1, 2019 (Click here)
  2. Publishers List, (Click here)
  3. Hijacked Journals List (Click here)
  4. NUR-based publishers & journals black list (Click here)

Chapter Four: Student Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet is about the information of the University students. The University should complete this spreadsheet before April 10th.

Chapter Five: Master Spreadsheet
  1. The data entry should be in the English language, only.
  2. The data entry is for the teaching academic staff.
  3. The University should submit all teaching staff names, with and without academic titles, including all Milak, part-time staff, paid-leave staff, unpaid leave and visiting lecturers
  4. For ranking, NUR considers the Milak, part-time staff, paid-leave staff, and visiting lecturers.
  5. The teaching academic staff include the visiting lecturers.
  6. The teaching academic staff names should be hyperlinked with their academic profile.
  7. For the visiting lecturer, the name should be hyperlinked with the academic profile of the mother University.
  8. The email of the academic staff should be the institutional email, any commercial e-mail is not accepted for any reason.
  9. The QA activities include Student Feedback (1-5); Teacher Portfolio PF (1-5); Continuous Academic Development CAD (1-infinity).
  10. The President, Vice President, and Deans are not obligated to get PF and CAD scores.
  11. The President, Vice President, and Deans are obligated to have SF score if they are teaching.
  12. The visiting teaching staff is requested to have SF only, in the hosting University, and SF, PF, and CAD in the mother university.
  13. The academic staff without academic title should be included in the e-Master sheet, but they are not under the umbrella of the QA.
  14. The academic staff without academic title should have a SF score, only, if they are teaching.
  15. The Ph.D. students abroad are not under the umbrella of the QA.
  16. The Ph.D. students inside the country (part time) are under the umbrella of the QA, but their CAD score should by multiplied by 2.
  17. The academic staff with 1 or 2 years unpaid leave are not considered as a staff member (Milak).
  18. The academic staff with 1 or 2 years unpaid leave who are teaching in another University, they will be considered as Milak of that University.
  19. Visiting lecturers from the ministries who are teaching as a part-time in private/public universities are requested to get SF, only. The university is responsible to create an institutional email to this staff and create an Teacher Academic Profile.

Chapter Six: Ranking spreadsheet

Criterion: I. Academic Staff (8 points)

I.1 Student/Academic staff ratio
Weight: 4 points
Scale: 10 students per 1 academic-staff.

I.2 Student/Assistant Professor ratio
Weight: 2 points
Scale: 50 students per 1 Assistant Professor.

I.3 Student/Professor ratio
Weight: 2 points
Scale: 100 students per 1 Professor.

Criterion: II. Scientific Research (37 points)

II.1 Journals Issued by the University and listed by SCOPUS or Clarivate Analytics.
Weight: 1 point
Scale: The journal should be indexed by SCOPUS or Clarivate Analytics.

II.2 Total Impact Factors of quality Journal publications listed in Clarivate Analytics
Weight: 16
Scale: 1 IF per 2 academics. The IFs as listed by JCR of (WoS) Clarivate Analytics. Only the 1st till the 10th authors (First Ten Authors) are considered. The JCR is announced in June every year and available on:

II.3 Number of Publications Listed in Clarivate Analytics and/or SCOPUS
Weight: 6 points
Scale: 1 journal paper per 2 academic staff. The publication should belong to Journals indexed by Clarivate Analytics or SCOPUS (Q1, Q2 and Q3, only). SCOPUS indexed Journals with Q4 level are not considered. The 1st author till the 10th are considered, only. No more than 2 affiliations are accepted per author. 2 conference papers are equivalent to 1 journal paper. The journal existence in SCOPUS can be checked in the link: and the Q level can be found in the link:

II.4 Number of publications inside Kurdistan Region, without indexing
Weight: 4 points
Scale: 1 journal paper per 3 academic staff. Journal papers should be published in approved Journals of Kurdistan Universities. International Conference papers in Kurdistan Universities published online with metadata and doi are considered and equivalent to a journal paper. 

II.5 Number of scientific books/book-chapters published by famous publisher
Weight: 2
Scale: 1 Published book per 100 academic staff and 1 published book-chapter per 50 academic staff. The book/book-chapter publisher should be listed by Web of Science. Check the publishers list in the NUR website.

II.6 Number of Patents
Weight: 5
Scale: 1 patent per University. The patent should be listed by WIPO and the applicant should be affiliated to the University.  The patent should belong to a Milak staff.

II.7 Google Scholar Citation
Weight: 3
Scale:  The University with highest number of citations will get full score (3 points), whereas the other Universities will get a score relative to highest number of citations. Citations from the top 110 public profiles of each university are collected. The top ten (10) profiles of the list is EXCLUDED for improving representativeness by removing outliers. For the rest of the top profiles, the number of citations are added and the institutions are ranked in descending order of this indicator. The Google Scholar Citation of a staff should have a standard affiliation, including the department and University Name. It also should have the staff personal photo, otherwise it will not be considered.

Criterion: III. National and International Scientific Activities (14 points)

III.1 Number of international students at the University
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 international student against 50 national students.

III.2 Number of international teaching-staff at the University
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 international staff against each 25 national staff.

III.3 Number of Exchanged international students at the University
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 exchanged student against each 100 students. The students exchange is a bilateral.

III.4 Number of Exchanged international teaching-staff at the University
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 exchanged staff against each 100 staff. The staff exchange is a bilateral.

III.5 Holding training courses
Weight: 3 points
Scale: 1 training course held by the University per 100 academic staff. The training course should not be less than 3 weeks, and not less than 24 hr.

III.6 Hosting and sponsoring national conferences, workshops and forums
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 national conference, workshop or forum per 1 department. Seminars are excluded.

III.7 Hosting and sponsoring International workshops and forums
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 International workshop or forum per 1 department.

III.8 Hosting and sponsoring International conferences 
Weight: 2 points
Scale: 2 international conferences per University.

III.9 Holding joint work and projects with international universities and scientific bodies
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 International activity per 1 department, e.g, joint MSc and PhD Project. The other University should announce the work or project online.

III.10 Achievement of national/international scientific prizes, medals and awards
Weight: 2 points
Scale: 1 prize per 200 academic-staff (Milak). The scientific prize should be awarded by a recognized awarding body. List of prizes, medals and awards:,_medals_and_awards.

Criterion: IV. Student Satisfaction (4 points)

IV.1 Student satisfaction
Weight: 4
Scale: The feedback will be set and the mechanism will be implemented by the MHE.

Criterion: V. Quality (25 points)

V.1 Classroom space
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 2.5 sqm classroom space per student.

V.2 Accommodation space
Weight: 1 point
Scale: the student accommodation is 8 sq m per student.

V.3 Green area and University park
Weight: 1 point
Scale: The green area and university park is 5  sq m per student.

V.4 Space for sports activities in (sq meter)
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 30000 sq m or 20000 sq m depends on whether the Univ have a Physical Education Dept or not.

V.5 University web presence
Weight: 5 point
Scale: The University with rank 1 will get a score of 5 points, whereas the other Universities will be scored relatively. Scoring the University Web Presence based on the University Ranking in the Webometrics. Edition July is considered. In case and for any reason the Webometrics July Edition is not announced, Alexa Rank will be considered, instead.

V.6 Teaching Quality Assurance Scoring
Weight: 6 point
Scale: 6 points for QA scores; 2 points for SF, 2 points for the PF and 2 points for the CAD.

V.7 Teaching Quality e-System
Weight: 6 point
Scale: 6 points for e-system (Academic profile = 1, Portfolio and CAD websites = 1, QA activities scores = 1,  e-learning system (Moodle, Google Apps., etc.) = 2, Student feedback e-system website = 1). Peer review will be on June and August.

V.8 Alumni
Weight: 3 point
Scale: The evaluated is based on the University Alumni website, database tracking the alumni and the services given by the University to the students.

V.9 Accreditation 
Weight: Open
Scale: 1 point per 1 program international Accreditation and 1 point per international institute accreditation.

V.10 Integrity of the University database (Master Sheet + Ranking Sheet)
Weight: 1 point
Scale: based on the database submitted via the University Master spreadsheet + Ranking spreadsheet.

Criterion: VI. Cultural and Community Activities (7 points)

VI.1 Sport activities
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 0.1 point per each activity. The activity should be announced on the University website no later than one month with all details and photos.

VI.2 Art activities
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 0.1 point per each activity.  The activity should be announced on the University website no later than one month with all details and photos.

VI.3 Community- University partnership projects
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 project per 1 department. The activity should be announced on the University website no later than one month with all details.

VI.4 Projects that serve the society and become financial income for the university
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 1 project per 4 scientific departments. The activity should be announced on the University website no later than one month with all details.

VI.5 Securing grants for the University
Weight: 1 point
Scale: 500 $ per 1 academic staff. The grant should be announced on the University website, explicitly.

Criterion: VIII. Library (5 points)

VII.1 e-Library system + e/Hard book titles at the library
Weight: 2 points
Scale: This is about the Library website and the books dB management system. 1000 book title per 1 department. The e-titles should be available via the University intranet or a database management system platform

VII.2 Number of International scientific journal titles (e/hard) subscribed by the University
Weight: 2 points
Scale: 10 subscribed e/hard journals per 1 department, excluding the KRG-Universities journals

VII.3 Space of the reading halls at the Library
Weight: 1 points
Scale: 2.5 sqm per 100 students

Chapter Seven: How to keep your journal approved by NUR
  1. The journal should have e-ISSN if it is available online.
  2. It is accepted for the new journal to get the e-ISSN after one year, according to the new regulation of the ISSN.
  3. The journal should be published according to the frequency indicated in the ISSN manifest, e.g., Annual, biannual, quarterly, etc.
  4. The journal should not be available as few pages in the University website, but has a dedicated website, and better to be installed on a professional platform, like OJS.
  5. The Journal domain name should be a sub-domain of the University main-domain, e.g.,
  6. The journal should create a metadata for each published paper.
  7. The metadata of each published paper should have; Title, Author names, Author affiliation, Abstract, References and DOI link.
  8. The published paper doi should be linked to the metadata page, not to the pdf file.
  9. Whether the journal publishes papers in English, Arabic or Kurdish, the author name and affiliation should be in English, beside the Arabic/Kurdish name and affiliation, if it is desirable.
  10. For multilingual journals with Arabic/Kurdish and English metadata, it is accepted to make a metadata page in English and another metadata page in Arabic/Kurdish.
  11. In the metadata page, the author name should be naked, without prefix or title, e.g., Mr., Dr., Professor, Lecturer.
  12. In the metadata page, the author affiliation should contain the Department, College/Faulty, University, Kurdistan region, Iraq.
  13. The University name in the metadata should be exactly the university official name.
  14. The journal that does not comply with the above regulations, its publications will not be considered.

Chapter Eight: Google Scholar Citation (GSC)
  1. The NUR-MHE is the local authority for controlling the Quality of GSC data of Kurdistan Universities.
  2. The University is the responsible party for controlling the quality of GSC data.
  3. The NUR-MHE is reviewing the GSC data of all Universities in Kurdistan Region twice a year, in June-July and December-January.
  4. During the two times of GSC review, any incorrect data in any University staff GSC list will exclude the University from GSC criteria (3%).
  5. The GSC page of the academic staff should have the staff personal photo, otherwise it will not be considered.
  6. The GSC page of the academic staff should have the staff affiliation with the following format: Department of xxxx, University name, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. No need for the College/Faculty name.
  7. In the GSC profile, the homepage should be connected to the Teacher Academic Profile.
  8. In the GSC profile, about 3 Areas of Interest should be written.
  9. The University should not include a part-time/visiting Lecturer GSC account to their list. The University GSC list should be for the Milak staff. 

Chapter Nine: News and online proofs
  1. The scientific activity proofs (News) should be in English, only. Other languages beside the English is advised.
  2. Only the Sport and Art News can be announced in Kurdish.
  3. The news should be directed to public. It is not for the sake of NUR.
  4. The Workshop and Training Courses News should give all details about date, time, place, number of weeks, number of hrs, participants, Lecturers/supervisors,and outcome of the Workshop or Training Courses.

Last update by Prof. Salah I. Yahya: Feb. 2020