Thomson Reuters, which provides data for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, has begun distributing the survey with the help of polling firm Ipsos Media CT. The survey asks experienced academics to nominate the best universities for both research and teaching in their narrow field of expertise.
The results will feed into the 2011-12 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which will be published this autumn. The findings from the exercise will be revealed in full next March in the 2012 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.
Over three months last spring, the previous survey garnered 13,388 responses from academics in 131 countries. It was distributed in seven languages, but the number of languages will rise to eight this year with the addition of Arabic.
“Last year’s poll was the most ambitious such exercise ever undertaken, and this year we expect to build on its success to produce an even more comprehensive picture,” said Ann Mroz, editor of Times Higher Education.
The respondent pool is drawn largely from Thomson Reuters’ internal databases; to ensure balanced coverage by discipline, only academics invited to respond may take part. The survey’s regional circulation will follow the United Nations’ percentage estimates of global academic researchers by geographical area. The invitation-only nature of the survey also ensures that there is no response bias or manipulation of the results by any institution.
The survey will close in late May.