The evaluation criteria of university ranking lists are different. Methodology, used indicators and data on which indicators are based on vary as well as the weighting of indicators in evaluations. In the subject rankings or field rankings attention should be paid to the fact that the classification of publications to the disciplines is not congruent in the databases like Scopus and Web of Science. Besides bibliometrics other evaluation criteria are the ratio of students and staff, the quality of teaching and reputation surveys. Results between ranking lists should not be compared. Benchmarking should only be done between different years in regard to the same ranking.
Some of the ranking lists evaluate only universities, some also research institutions and hospitals.
Methodologies of the some most famous university ranking lists:
Rankings that are based just on bibliometrics:
Rankings that use bibliometrics and also other methods:
Rankings offering also subject/field rankings:
JCR/Web of Science
Other databases and resources
The rank of the University of Oulu in the most important university rankings durings the last years
The most well know ranking list of world universities is the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) published by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Rankings for universities and subjects available.
"ARWU uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Clarivate Analytics, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of a university. More than 1800 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 1000 are published."
Times Higher Education World University Rankings is published by Times Higher Education journal. From 2015 the publication data is based on Scopus and also books and book articles are taking into account in evaluation. University and subject rankings available.
Weighting of the indicators:
"The performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching 30% (the learning environment); Research 30% (volume, income and reputation); Citations 30% (research influence); International outlook 7,5% (staff, students and research); and Industry Income 2,5% (knowledge transfer)."
QS World University Rankings is published by Quacquarelli Symonds. Publication data is based on Scopus. University and subject rankings available.
Weighting of evaluation criteria:
CWTS Leiden Ranking uses bibliometrics based on Web of Science. Only articles and reviews articles are taken into account. University and subject rankings available.
National Taiwan University Ranking uses bibliometrics in evaluation. University and subject rankings available. Publication data is based on Clarivate's Essential Science Indicators (ESI). Methodology and indicators
Weighting of indicators:
URAP-rankings is published by Informatics Institute of Middle East Technical University. Ranking list is based on Web of Science data and the methodology is bibliometrics. University and field rankings available.
SCImago Institutions Rankings project (SIR) is developed by SCImago Research Group. Ranking is based on:
"...research performance, innovation outputs and societal impact."
U-Multirank is an European multidimensional system for benchmarking universities and research institutes:
"...is not confined to research but takes into account different aspects and dimensions of the performance of universities: teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement."
"...does not produce a combined, weighted score across these different areas of performance and then use these scores to produce a numbered league table of the world’s “top” 100 universities. The underlying principle is that there is no theoretical or empirical justification for such composite scores...Therefore, the U-Multirank methodology looks at the scores of universities on individual indicators and places these in five performance groups which are very good, good, average, below average, weak."
Centre for Higher Education (CHE)
Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS)
Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)
CWUR, Center for World University Rankings evaluation method:
"...assesses the quality of education, alumni employment, research output, and citations without relying on surveys and university data submissions."
Data source for publications is Journal Citation Reports, JCR which is based on Web of Science.
U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings collaborates with Clarivate's InCites, based on Web of Science. University and subject rankings available.
European Research Ranking uses data of the CORDIS-database.
Webometrics or Ranking Web of World Universities - published by the Cybermetrics Lab - uses both web-metrics (webometric) and bibliometrics in evaluations
"...It uses both webometric (all missions) and bibliometric (research mission) indicators..."
Published twice a year and rankings also for research institutes, hospitals and repositories.
Good practices in institutional web positioning