How is the academic peer review score determined for the U.S. News World's Best Colleges and Universities rankings?
The academic peer review is the centerpiece of these rankings, which are based on data from THE-QS World University Rankings, produced in association with QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The academic peer review carries a weighting of 40 percent of the university's overall score. It is the ranking indicator that attracts the greatest interest and the greatest scrutiny.
The final academic peer review scores are compiled based on three years' worth of responses from academics around the world to an online survey. The names that are surveyed are obtained from two key databases:
The World Scientific from which 180,000 E-mail addresses are drawn and the International Book Information Service (IBIS), a service from Mardev. The total number of respondents considered for the 2008 results (including those from 2007 and 2006 who have not updated their responses) was 6,354.