Publication and citation data vary greatly across disciplines. To counter heavily skewed results from one area of expertise over another (e.g. the dominance of physics publishing over history), The QS World University Rankings methodology utilizes a Citations per Faculty indicator. The objective of this approach is to derive a “Normalized Total Citation Count” (NTCC). The primary approach is to simply equalize the influence of the same five faculty areas that are already deployed in the Academic Reputation analysis:
- Arts & Humanities
- Engineering & Technology
- Life Sciences & Medicine
- Natural Sciences
- Social Sciences & Management
The distribution of citations across faculty areas is imbalanced, leading to a situation where the Citations per Faculty indicator and, ultimately, the ranking overall would favor institutions with a strong emphasis on the sciences if we did not make this adjustment.
The central intention of our model is to equalize the influence of the five faculty areas on the overall outcome of the citations per faculty measure – essentially weighting citations so that each area contributes 20% to the final indicator. However, given that such a model places greater emphasis on areas where more is published in languages other than English and in forms other than journal articles, we are applying a sliding scale weight adjustment in Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences & Management based on mean productivity levels in those areas for the country where the institution is based.