Skip to main content

Table 5 Focus on extremes of excellence vs averages, appropriate field adjustment, time frame of measurement and credit allocation problems of Shanghai and Times ranking systems

From: International ranking systems for universities and institutions: a critical appraisal

  Focus* Field adjustment Time frame of measurement Credit allocation
Shanghai     
Alumni, Nobel/Fields Very extreme excellence Not all fields represented Typically very remote Problematic
Faculty, Nobel/Fields Very extreme excellence Not all fields represented Typically remote Problematic
Faculty, highly-cited Extreme excellence To some extent Remote (1981–1999) Problematic
Nature/Science articles Extreme excellence Uneven per field Recent (last 5 years) Reasonable***
Number of articles Average excellence None Very recent (last year) Reasonable***
Size Not applicable** None Sources unclear Straightforward
Times     
Peer opinion Varies per expert To some extent Varies per expert Varies per expert
Recruiter opinion Not applicable** None Varies per recruiter Varies per recruiter
International faculty Not applicable** None Sources unclear Straightforward
International students Not applicable** None Sources unclear Straightforward
Student-faculty ratio Not applicable** None Sources unclear Straightforward
Citations per faculty Average excellence None Recent (last 5 years) Reasonable***
  1. *Whether excellence is appraised based on the extremes or the average of the distribution of performance.
  2. **Indicators pertain to the whole institution, so they are average indicators, but as per Table 4 they are unlikely to be more than low/modest indicators of excellence.
  3. ***Decisions need to be made regarding allocation of credit for multi-authored papers, variable credit according to authorship position etc