Citations per Faculty Member
How are citations per faculty member evaluated for the U.S. News World's Best Colleges and Universities rankings, which are based on data from THE-QS World University Rankings produced in association with QS Quacquarelli Symonds?
Citations per faculty, when evaluated to account for the size of the institution, are the best understood and most widely accepted measure of research strength and faculty productivity at a university. Citations per faculty member also are one of the few factors that can be used to compare institutions across borders. Data on citations can be analyzed to determine the popularity and impact of specific articles, authors, publications, and therefore the institution itself. Instead of a "per paper" basis, the U.S. News World's Best Colleges ranking has adopted a "per faculty member" approach. The Citations per Faculty score contributes 20 percent to the overall rankings score.
For the calculation of this indicator, QS gathers two distinct data sets:
Total citation count for the last five years:
There are three major sources of publications and citation data worldwide. They are the Web of Science from Thomson Reuters, Scopus from Elsevier, and Google Scholar. In 2007, QS made the switch to Scopus for a number of reasons but principally because of its broader journal coverage, which leads to results for a larger number of institutions. 2008 citation counts are based on a version of Scopus dated June 23, 2008. Scopus is a rapidly evolving system; data included in the U.S. News World's Best Colleges and Universities rankings may differ significantly from the current content of Scopus online.
Full-Time Equivalent faculty
Faculty numbers used are totals. While it would be ideal to separate the notions of teaching and research faculties and use the former for calculating the Student-Faculty Ratio and the latter for this indicator, it has not been possible to do so because data that specific have been unavailable for many countries in the study. The definition of exactly what data we request has evolved gradually over the years to minimize ambiguity.