CITATIONS: RESEARCH INFLUENCE (30%)
Our research influence indicator is the flagship. Weighted at 30 per cent of the overall score, it is the single most influential of the 13 indicators, and looks at the role of universities in spreading new knowledge and ideas.
We examine research influence by capturing the number of times a university's published work is cited by scholars globally. This year, our data supplier Thomson Reuters examined more than 50 million citations to 6 million journal articles, published over five years. The data are drawn from the 12,000 academic journals indexed by Thomson Reuters' Web of Science database and include all indexed journals published between 2006 and 2010.
Citations to these papers made in the six years from 2006 to 2011 are also collected.
The citations help show us how much each university is contributing to the sum of human knowledge: they tell us whose research has stood out, has been picked up and built on by other scholars and, most importantly, has been shared around the global scholarly community to push further the boundaries of our collective understanding, irrespective of discipline.
The data are fully normalised to reflect variations in citation volume between different subject areas. This means that institutions with high levels of research activity in subjects with traditionally high citation counts do not gain an unfair advantage.
We exclude from the rankings any institution that publishes fewer than 200 papers a year to ensure that we have enough data to make statistically valid comparisons.
The essential elements in our world-leading formula - Times Higher Education