Rankings Post Publication Corrections
The production of a ranking is a multi-step process which spans many months. It begins with data submission and collection, goes through a series of checks and validations, before undergoing a comprehensive analysis to create a ranking. We ask institutions to verify the data they submit to us before the analysis begins. For data that we collect from third party sources, we validate this internally using a combination of methods. Once the data has been validated, we will not typically accept any further modifications. Higher education institutions will have to wait for the next cycle of data collection for any new changes to be taken into account (this is particularly true for mergers between institutions that may occur after the data validation, etc.).
Inevitably, errors can and do occur during this process. Where responsibility for the error lies with QS, we take the following approach to correcting the rankings after they have been produced. Transparency is key, and we communicate our edits and version history on topuniversities.com
- We correct the error in our database
- We re-run the analysis
- We communicate any change in score and ranking with the institution
- We provide an updated fact-file
- We update the ranking and the version history.
Regarding Point 5, post publication corrections are made to the rankings at the following intervals:
1 month after publication
3 months after publication
6 months after publication
It is important that we follow this to minimize the impact of these changes to the overall stability of the ranking. When an institution has been corrected in the ranks, we do not alter the score or positions of any other institutions relative to them, to avoid impacting negatively on the institution already ranked in a certain position. In this case, the newly corrected rank of an institution is placed as a joint equal at their new rank position.
Where the error lies with the university the decision to adjust our rankings for the affected rankings cycle is fully at our discretion depending on the impact of the error. We will however provide institutions with an updated fact file with corrected scores so that they may benchmark their performance more accurately.