Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as Shanghai Ranking, is one of the annual publications of world university rankings. The league table was originally compiled and issued by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2003, making it the first global university ranking with multifarious indicators.
Academic Ranking of World Universities uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of a university. More than 1500 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published.
ARWU is regarded as one of the three most influential and widely observed university rankings, alongside QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It is often praised for the objectivity, stability and transparency of its methodology but draws some criticism for heavily focusing on scientific research and downplaying the quality of instruction; it also does not adequately adjust for the size of the institution, so that larger institutions would tend to rank above smaller ones.