ShanghaiRanking Academic Excellence Survey 2023 Methodology

The Story Behind

ShanghaiRanking Consultancy began to publish rankings of world universities by academic subjects in 2009. The first batch of ranked subjects includes Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Economics/Business. The scope of the rankings has gradually extended to cover seven engineering subjects to ensure methodological consistency in 2016. One unique feature in the methodology of ShanghaiRanking’s ARWU and subject rankings is the use of Award indicator, such as counting the universities’ staff winning Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine, Economics and Fields Medals in Mathematics. However, it remained unknown whether there are awards equivalent to Nobel Prize or at least globally recognized in other respective subjects. Under this circumstance, ShanghaiRanking decided to engage distinguished academic scholars from the top universities in the world to nominate academic awards/prizes and other potentially important measures of academic performance.


We have surveyed dozens of thousands of professors from the top 100 universities in the world. They are from different fields, and many of them are the chairs or heads of the faculties or departments. Different from a conventional survey, we reveal the names and affiliated institutions of all participants. Therefore, the outcomes of the survey are highly authoritative and transparent. The survey was sent to each participant’s work email with a customised link with the participant’s personal information.


The survey includes two questions, none of which are compulsory. The first question requires the participants to list the top-tier journals in their primary subjects. The second question asks the participants to nominate the most influential and credible international awards in their primary subjects. Researchers from Computer Science & Engineering are also asked to name the top-tier conferences in this subject.


A journal is considered as a Top Journal if:

1. There have been totally more than three votes in a subject. AND

2. A journal received at least 50% votes in this subject OR received at least 40% votes and it had been selected as a Top Journal in 2022.

An award is considered as a Top Award if:

1. There have been totally more than two votes in a subject. AND

2. An award received at least 50% votes in this subject OR it had been selected as a Top Award in 2022.

A conference is considered as a Top Conference if:

1. It received at least 10 votes OR it had been selected as a Top Conference in 2022.


Until April 2023, 1447 professors have participated in the survey. They are from 122 universities, and 21 countries/regions, covering 64 subjects. The results reveal 121 top journals in 43 subjects, 36 top awards in 29 subjects, and 31 top conferences for Computer Science & Engineering.


The survey will continue to be updated. Professors from Top 100 universities in the world are welcome to sign up on our website and submit opinions online.