When research data company Thomson Reuters last week revealed plans for the database that will fuel the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, THE editor Ann Mroz said the details gave her "great confidence" that the rankings would now be based on the most transparent, balanced and accurate information available.
Our faith in the future rigour of the influential annual league table was boosted further this week, with confirmation that Thomson Reuters has appointed a full-time manager to oversee the project.
Simon Pratt is now project manager, Global Institutional Profiles for Thomson Reuters, and will be working with four other specialists dedicated to the project. Their efforts will be supported, of course, by THE's dedicated staff and the input of its editorial board.
Mr Pratt will be based in Leeds, working with Thomson Reuters' director of research evaluation Jonathan Adams (who writes more about the project on page 24). Other colleagues will be based in the UK, the US, China and Singapore.
Mr Pratt has more than 13 years' experience in the scientific information industry, and has spent more than 11 years at Thomson Reuters in Tokyo and London. He has a masters in electronic communication and publishing from University College London, and is a regular speaker at conferences on academic librarianship, bibliometrics and research evaluation across the world.
As Ms Mroz has said, we want to create a serious tool for the sector, not just an annual curiosity, and we are well on our way to achieving that.