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

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***


*Whether excellence is appraised based on the extremes or the average of the distribution of performance.

**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.

***Decisions need to be made regarding allocation of credit for multi-authored papers, variable credit according to authorship position etc

Ioannidis et al. BMC Medicine 2007 5:30   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-5-30

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