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Measuring Research Impact

Provides the common tools and methods to evaluate the impact of research

University ranking lists

Many universities and professional organizations have compiled university ranking lists to evaluate universities using criteria other than publication output and citation impact. This page provides you the information of some commonly known and freely available ranking lists.

Click on the links below to know more about these ranking lists:

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)


ARWU is an influential ranking list of world universities compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). Each year, the top 500 universities in the world are ranked based on a set of criteria:

Criteria Indicator Weight
Quality of Education Alumni of an institution winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals 10%
Quality of Faculty

Staff of an institution winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals

Highly cited researchers in 21 broad subject categories



Research Output

Papers published in Nature and Science (not for institutions specialized in humanities and social sciences)

Papers indexed in Science Citation Index-expanded and Social Science Citation Index



Per Capita Performance Per capita academic performance of an institution 10%
Total - 100%

From ARWU website:


Below is an example of the ARWU ranking lists.

You can also make use of ARWU's "Universities" page to search for a particular university and view its ranking.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 



This is a ranking list compiled by UK Times Higher Education (THE). In 2010, THE split from its previous partner Quacquarelli Symonds and started to collaborate with Thomson Reuters to create a separate ranking list based on a new set of assessing criteria:

Criteria Weight 
Teaching - the learning environment 30%
Research - volume, income and reputation 30%
Citations - research influence 30%
Industry income - innovation 2.5%
International outlook - staff, students and research 7.5%


World University Ranking 2015-16:

THE also provides rankings of the top 100 universities or institutions that are under 50 years old: Young University Rankings.

QS World University Rankings



This is a respected university ranking list published by Quacquarelli Symonds. The list was originally compiled in collaboration with Times Higher Education until 2010, when THE started to partner Thomson Reuters to create another list of ranking (see above).

400 world top universities are ranked every year based on six criteria:

Criteria Weight
Academic reputation from Global Survey   40%
Employer reputation from Global Survey 10%
Citations per faculty from Scopus 20%
Faculty student ratio 20%
Proportion of international students 5%
Proportion of international faculty 5%



This website also provides rankings in five broad faculty areas (Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Technology, etc.). You can also view rankings by region and location, or search for universities.

The QS Top 50 under 50 is a ranking of the world's top universities established within the last 50 years.

Webometrics Ranking of World Universities


Also known as Ranking Web of World Universities, this ranking system developed by Cybermetrics Lab of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) evaluates universities in the world based on their web presence and activity. More than 20,000 universities around the world are covered.

Four criteria are used to obtain data for ranking:

Criteria Weight
Size - Number of pages recovered from Google 10%
Visibility - Number of external links received muliplied by the referring domains for these links 50%
Rich Files - The following file formats are selected: Adobe Acrobat, Adobe PostSript, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. 10%
Scholar - Publishing data collected from Google Scholar and Scimago SIR  30%



You can tell from each ranking list on this site the position of a university in the world or within a region. The numbers on the right show the rank of a particular university for each of the individual criterion.

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