The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) was first published in June 2003 by the Center for World-Class Universities (CWCU), Graduate School of Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and updated on an annual basis. Since 2009 the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has been published and copyrighted by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. More than 1200 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published.
To be included in a subject ranking, the universities need to have a minimum number of research publications during the period of 2011-2015. The publication threshold is different for different subjects. Bibliometric data are collected from InCites. In particular, the rankings were based on the weighted total scores from five indicators:
- The number of papers authored by an institution in an Academic Subject during the period of 2011-2015. Only papers of 'Article' type are considered. Data are collected from InCites database. Papers in different Web of Science categories are grouped into relevant Academic Subjects (Classification of Web of Science Categories into Academic Subjects).
- Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI): The ratio of citation of papers published by an institution in an Academic Subject during the period of 2011-2015 to the average citation of papers in the same category, of the same year and same type. A CNCI value of 1 represents world-average performance while a value above 1 represents performance above the world average. Only papers of 'Article' type are considered. Data are collected from InCites database.
- International collaboration (IC): The number of publications that have been found with at least two different countries in addresses of the authors divided by the total number of publications in an Academic Subject for an institution during the period of 2011-2015. Only papers of ‘Article’ type are considered. Data are collected from InCites database.
- The number of papers published in Top Journals in an Academic Subject for an institution during the period of 2011-2015. Top Journals are identified through Shanghai Ranking’s Academic Excellence Survey or by Journal Impact Factor.
- The total number of the staff of an institution winning a significant award in an Academic Subject. The significant awards in each subject are identified through ShanghaiRanking’s Academic Excellence Survey.