Thomson Reuters Identifies Significant Trends Impacting the Academic Reputation of the World’s Leading Universities

    The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced the launch of its 2015 Academic Reputation Survey and new report, “Exploring Scholarly Trends and Shifts Impacting the Academic Reputation of the World’s Leading Universities.” This robust analysis of survey results over a five-year period (2010-2014) identifies the key trends and shifts across the global research landscape that influence an institution’s academic standing.

    “Exploring Scholarly Trends and Shifts Impacting the Academic Reputation of the World’s Leading Universities” is fueled by the unique and comprehensive results of Thomson Reuters Academic Reputation Surveys (2010-2014), including the insights of  65,000 academics and is representative of 6,500 universities and 105 areas of study.

    The study also explores sharp regional differences and global perceptions that do not always align with an institution’s research output or strengths. For example, while responses differ within specific disciplines, participants have generally tended to identify a small number of well-recognized universities as the leaders across six major subject areas, including arts and humanities, medicine and health, life sciences, physical sciences, engineering and technology and social sciences. While the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was not regarded as highly in medicine and health, as it was within other major disciplines, this area of study was still listed within its subject mix despite the institution not having a school of medicine. This is reflective of the interdisciplinary nature of science.

    Some of the study’s key findings include:

    • Harvard University is the overall global leader-of-the-pack over the five-year period
    • New York University (NYU) and King’s College London experienced the greatest upswing in academic reputation
    • Multidisciplinary universities tend to have a stronger general reputation than specialty institutions, but a granular approach to a subject can lead to reputational excellence within that discipline
    • Regional perspectives often contrast with global perception
    • With some exceptions, the volume of a university’s research generally correlates with reputation, including papers co-authored with researchers in other regions

    The Thomson Reuters Academic Reputation Survey—the largest of its kind—is dedicated to gaining an accurate view of the international research sphere by directly engaging with academics and researchers throughout the world to identify the universities they consider to be the strongest in terms of research and teaching, both regionally and globally. To prevent language and translation bias, the survey is offered in nine languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, English, French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish.

    “Now in its sixth year, we are pleased to continue the Academic Reputation Survey and to provide this unique and insightful report on global trends affecting academic reputation,” said Jessica Turner, global head of Thomson Reuters Government and Academia. “These initiatives are critical in providing the international research community with honest, user-based assessments, while also offering academics and researchers the opportunity to highlight what they see as the strongest universities within their fields.”

    Survey responses form a key building block, along with research output, citation patterns and funding levels for Thomson Reuters InCitesTM, the industry’s leading research analytics platform for evaluation and the gold-standard resource for fueling trend analyses and powering leading academic rankings, including the Shanghai Academic Rankings of World Universities and US News & World Report’s Best Global Universities.

    View: “Exploring Scholarly Trends and Shifts Impacting the Academic Reputation of the World’s Leading Universities,” to understand the various components that comprise academic reputation.


    Learn more about the 2015 Thomson Reuters Academic Reputation Survey