Evaluation based on scientific publishing: Ranking lists

About ranking lists

When you use different ranking lists as aids in assessment, you should always note the evaluation methods that have been used in compiling the lists. All lists have different emphases that will always inevitably favour some organisations, either because of their size or because of the disciplines represented in the organisation.

Ranking lists normalize  numerical values making them comparable. Eg. most ranking lists normalize citations taking into account the size  and discipline of an institution,

Data sources of publication information of ranking lists

Rankinglist Scopus Web of Science
QS World University Rankings  x  
Shanghai Ranking  Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU   x
Times Higher Education World University Ranking (THE)  x (from 2015) x (until 2014)
CWTS Leiden Ranking   x


University of Oulu

UOulu in World Ranking
Ranking list
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
CWTS Leiden Ranking   481 485 435 475
QS World University Rankings    411-420 411-420 358 259
Shanghai Ranking  Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)   401-500 401-500 301-400 301-400
Times Higher Education World University Ranking (THE)  251-300 201-250 201-250 351-400  -


UOulu in country rank
Ranking list
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
QS World University Rankings    6/10 8/10 7/9 4/9
Shanghai Ranking  Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)   3-5 / 5 3-5 / 5 2-3 2-3
Times Higher Education World University Ranking (THE)  4/7 2-3 / 9 2-3 / 9 4-6 / 9  -


Top subjects at UOulu based on ranking lists
Ranking list
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
QS World University Rankings    geography dentistry dentistry  
Shanghai Ranking  Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)    -  -  - clinical medicine and pharmacy
Times Higher Education World University Ranking (THE)  arts & humanities computer science computer science    

Shanghai aka Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)

The most well know ranking list of world universities is the Shanghai Ranking aka Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). More than 1200 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published. The highest scoring institution is assigned a score of 100, and other institutions are calculated as a percentage of the top score. Ranking is released in August.
Rankings by Field or Subject are also calculated: Natural Sciences and Mathematics (SCI), Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences (ENG), Life and Agriculture Sciences (LIFE), Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (MED), Social Sciences (SOC). 
52 subject areas (http://www.shanghairanking.com/Shanghairanking-Subject-Rankings/index.html)

Data sources are Web of Science database,  http://nobelprize.org/,  http://www.mathunion.org/index.php?id=prizewinners and  http://www.highlycited.com/
See the full methodology in http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU-Methodology-2017.html.

Lähde: http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU-Methodology-2016.html [10.10.2016].

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Times Higher Education World University Rankings is published by the UK Times Higher Education Supplement (THE). Ranking lists are since 2011. There is almost 1000 universities in the list. Partnership with Elsevier and the Scopus database started 2015, and in year 2016 books and book chapters were included in the analysis for the first time. Before that the publication data was gathered from the Web of Science database. Ranking is released usually in September.
Rankings by subject: Arts & humanities, Business & Economics, Clinical, pre-clinical & health, Computer Science, Engineering & technology, Life sciences, Physical sciences, Social sciences. Overall methodology is carefully recalibrated for each subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields.
See the full methodology in https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/methodology-world-university-rankings-2016-2017.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/methodology-world-university-rankings-2016-2017 [22.9.2016].

QS World University Rankings

QS World University Rankings is a ranking list of scientific achievement published by Quacquarelli Symonds. Rankings are from 2012. Citation data is based on Scopus data. It ranks almost 1000 universities of nearly 4000 assessed. Ranking is published usually in September. Rankings by subject and by faculty (arts & humanities, engineering & technology, life sciences & medicine, natural sciences, social sciences & management). Methodology in detail: http://www.topuniversities.com/qs-world-university-rankings/methodology.

Source: http://www.iu.qs.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/ [13.9.2016].

NTU Ranking

National Taiwan University Ranking employs bibliometric methods to analyze and rank the scientific paper performances, quantity (25%) and quality (75%), of the world’s top 500 universities. It was named HEAACT years 2007-2011. Data sources are Essential Science Indicators (ESI), Web of Science Core Collection ( SCI and SSCI) and Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Humanities (A&HCI, arts and humanities citation index) is not included. Rankings are also published by field and by subject. Ranking is released usually in October.

The full methodology: http://nturanking.lis.ntu.edu.tw/BackgroundMethodology/Methodology-enus.aspx.

Source: http://nturanking.lis.ntu.edu.tw/BackgroundMethodology/Methodology-enus.aspx [10.10.2016].

University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP)

The URAP ranking list has been published since 2010 by the Middle East Technical University. Publications constitute the basis of the ranking methodology. Data source is Web of Science database. URAP ranking includes 2000 higher education institutes. Lists are also by country, region and field. Methodology: http://www.urapcenter.org/2016/methodology.php?q=1Source:http://www.urapcenter.org/2016/methodology.php?q=3 [14.10.2016; percentiles added].

U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings

U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings was released for the first time in 2014. Rankings are powered by Thomson Reuters (Web of Science database). In year 2016 books and conferences were added to the ranking methodology. Rankings are also by country, region and subject. Ranking is usually released in October. Methodology: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/articles/methodology.

CWTS Leiden Ranking

The CWTS Leiden Ranking measures the scientific performance of 500 major universities worldwide. Using a sophisticated set of bibliometric indicators, the ranking aims to provide highly accurate measurements of the scientific impact of universities and of universities’ involvement in scientific collaboration. Ranking is based on Web of Science. Ranking is usually released in May. Methodology: http://www.leidenranking.com/information/indicators.

SCImago Institutions Rankings

SCImago Institutions Rankings project (SIR) , developed by SCImago Research Group,  is a tool for evaluation of reseach institutes and universities. Available reports from 2009.  Read more about  SIR-methodology.


European Research Ranking

European Research Ranking (http://www.researchranking.org/), ER-Rank, is based on the freely and publicly available data on European research projects which have been funded by the European Commission during the past years. This data is taken from the CORDIS database which has been published via the internet by the European Commission at http://cordis.europa.eu/. A minimum of 5 projects per year is required to calculate the rank of an individual institution. Methodology: http://www.researchranking.org/index.php?action=method.


U-Multirank http://www.u-multirank.eu/  is a multidimensional, user-driven approach to international ranking of higher education institutions. It compares the performances of higher education institutions – in short: universities – in the five broad dimensions of university activity: (1) teaching and learning, (2) research, (3) knowledge transfer, (4) international orientation and (5) regional engagement. The U-Multirank web tool enables comparisons at the level of the university as a whole and at the level of specific fields of study (http://www.u-multirank.eu/#!/compare?trackType=compare&sightMode=undefined&section=compareSwitch). Bibliometric analysis are based on Web of Science database. Methodology: http://www.u-multirank.eu/#!/about/methodology/data-sources.

Ranking Web of World Universities (Webometrics)

Webometrics eli Ranking Web of World Universities evaluates universities on the basis of their web presence and activity:

  • Visibility: obtained from two independent inlinks information providers (ahrefs & Majestic). For improving reliability we exclude the 20 top linking domains and their corresponding backlinks from the calculation. Weight: 50%
  • Excellence: Scimago data (top 10% most cited papers by discipline) for the five year period. Weight: 30%
  • Presence: total number of web pages, including all the rich files (like pdf), according to Google (georeferred at our facilities). Weight: 10%
  • Transparency: data from the Google Scholar Citations institutional profiles. Weight: 10%.

Methodology: http://www.webometrics.info/en/node/178.
Good practices in institutional web positioning: http://www.webometrics.info/en/Best_Practices.

Wikipedia Ranking of World Universities (WRWU)

Wikipedia Ranking of World Universities  "We use the directed networks between articles of 24 Wikipedia language editions for producing the Wikipedia Ranking of World Universities (WRWU) using PageRank, 2DRank and CheiRank algorithms. This approach allows to incorporate various cultural views on world universities using the mathematical statistical analysis independent of cultural preferences. The Wikipedia ranking of top 100 universities provides about 60 percent overlap with the Shanghai university ranking demonstrating the reliable features of this approach. At the same time WRWU incorporates all knowledge accumulated at 24 Wikipedia editions giving stronger highlights for historically important universities leading to a different estimation of efficiency of world countries in university education. The historical development of university ranking is analyzed during ten centuries of their history." Lähde: http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.09021.