This annual ranking system began in 2007. Currently, aside from this ranking system there are various major university rankings, Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (ARWU), THE World University Rankings by Times Higher Education (THE), the QS World University Rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Spain, and so on. Among these rankings, ARWU and THE rankings are well-known and most commonly discussed.
In contrast with the ARWU’s focus on academic ranking and the THE ranking’s focus on university ranking, NTU Ranking focuses on scientific paper performance ranking. The emphasis on current research performance makes the indicators used in this ranking system more objective than traditional indicators such as a university’s reputation reflected by peer reviews, or the number of Nobel laureates affiliated with that university, which tend to favor universities with longer histories or universities in developed countries.
This ranking system employs quantitative data extracted from Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) to evaluate the scientific paper performances of world universities. Today, publishing in international academic journals has become predominant mode of scientific research output. Statistics on the articles published in international academic journals provide an objective representation of each university’s research performance.
In addition to the overall performance based ranking, from 2008, this ranking system began to provide a field-based ranking of world universities to balance potential biases. A subject-based ranking of world universities is also provided to give more information on individual universities’ unique strengths. NTU Ranking thus provides a ranking of the overall 800 top universities and the top 500 universities by six fields and 24 subjects, and all subjects are derived from four of six fields.