How up-to-date are the data?The data presented in the UniversityRanking come from data collections that take originate in different year. The list below details the years of acquisition for the subject areas examined.
Due to the wide range of data collected for the ranking, it is not feasible to update the data annually for all subjects. This would exceed our capacities as well as place a heavy burden on HEIs since they have to do a considerable amount of work for the ranking. For this reason, the data for each subject area is updated every three years.
- law, economics, social sciences and media studies: 2007/2008
- humanities, psychology: 2006/2007
- engineering: 2006/2007
- mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and medicine: 2008/2009
Except in rare cases, changes at HEIs usually take place at a speed that does not require annual updates. In addition, the values presented in the ranking do not in most cases refer to one single year but are averages over several years (e.g. publications, third party funds). This helps to balance out any annual random fluctuation. In terms of figures alone, these values cannot change dramatically within one year. For example, it is very unlikely that there are significant changes in any update of the average values for the “publications” section within a given one year period.
Since 2003, a chronological comparison has been conducted for the subjects examined. This examination has made it clear that significant changes that actually lead to a change in the ranking group status are an exception rather than the rule.