World University Rankings 2018 by subject: social sciences methodology

October 4, 2017

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 Social Sciences subject ranking includes a wide range of narrower subject areas.

The list of subjects used to create this ranking is:

  • Communication and media studies
  • Politics and international studies (including development studies)
  • Sociology
  • Geography

Different weights and measures

The subject tables employ the same range of 13 performance indicators used in the overall World University Rankings 2018, brought together with scores provided under five categories.

However, the overall methodology is carefully recalibrated for each subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields.

The weightings for the Social Sciences ranking are:

  • Teaching: the learning environment
    32.4 per cent
  • Research: volume, income and reputation
    32.6 per cent
  • Citations: research influence
    25 per cent
  • International outlook: staff, students and research
    7.5 per cent
  • Industry income: innovation
    2.5 per cent

Criteria

No institution can be included in the overall World University Rankings unless it has published a minimum of 1,000 research papers over the five years that we examine.

For the 11 subject tables, the thresholds are set differently. For social sciences, the threshold drops to 200 papers published in this discipline over the last five years. And we expect an institution to have at least 4 per cent of its staff working in this discipline in order to include it in the subject table.

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