Wiki on the THES rankings
The Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University has been suggested to be more respectable despite its perceived bias towards the natural sciences.  The THE Rankings have been criticized for placing too much emphasis on peer review, which receives 40% of the overall score. Some have expressed concern on the manner in which the peer review has been carried out. In a certain report, Peter Wills from the University of Auckland, New Zealand wrote of the QS-THE Ranking:
"But we note also that this survey establishes its rankings by appealing to university staff, even offering financial enticements to participate (see Appendix II). Staff are likely to feel it is in their greatest interest to rank their own institution more highly than others. This means the results of the survey and any apparent change in ranking are highly questionable, and that a high ranking has no real intrinsic value in any case. We are vehemently opposed to the evaluation of the University according to the outcome of such PR
Although THES-QS had introduced several changes in methodology in 2007 which were aimed at addressing some of the above criticisms, the ranking has continued to attract criticisms. In an article in the peer-reviewed BMC Journal authored by several scientists from USA and Greece, it was pointed out:
"If properly performed, most scientists would consider peer review to have very good construct validity; many may even consider it the gold standard for appraising excellence. However, even peers need some standardized input data to peer review. The Times simply asks each expert to list the 30 universities they regard as top institutions of their area without offering input data on any performance indicators. Research products may occasionally be more visible to outsiders, but it is unlikely that any expert possesses a global view of the inner workings of teaching at institutions worldwide. Moreover, the expert selection process of The Times is entirely unclear.
The survey response rate among the selected experts was only <1% in 2006 (1 600 of 190 000 contacted).
In the absence of any guarantee for protection from selection biases, measurement validity can be very problematic."
Alex Usher, Vice President of the Educational Policy Institute in USA, commented:
"Most people in the rankings business think that the main problem with the Times is the opaque way it constructs its sample for its reputational rankings - a not-unimportant question given that reputation makes up 50% of the sample. Moreover, this year's switch from using raw reputation scores to using normalized Z-scores has really shaken things up at the top-end of the rankings by reducing the advantage held by really top universities - University of British Columbia (UBC) for instance, is now functionally equivalent to Harvard in the Peer Review score, which, no disrespect to UBC, is ludicrous. I'll be honest and say that at the moment the THES Rankings are an inferior product to the Shanghai Jiao Tong's Academic Ranking of World Universities."
The latest criticism of the QS-THE league tables came from Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics at University of Warwick:
"This put Oxford and Cambridge at equal second in the world. Lower down, at around the bottom of the world top-10, came University College London, above MIT. A university with the name of Stanford appeared at number 19 in the world. The University of California at Berkeley was equal to Edinburgh at 22 in the world. Such claims do us a disservice. The organisations who promote such ideas should be unhappy themselves, and so should any supine UK universities who endorse results they view as untruthful. Using these league table results on your websites, universities, if in private you deride the quality of the findings, is unprincipled and will ultimately be destructive of yourselves, because if you are not in the truth business what business are you in, exactly? Worse, this kind of material incorrectly reassures the UK government that our universities are international powerhouses. Let us instead, a bit more coolly, do what people in universities are paid to do. Let us use reliable data to try to discern the truth. In the last 20 years, Oxford has won no Nobel Prizes. (Nor has Warwick.) Cambridge has done only slightly better. Stanford University in the United States, purportedly number 19 in the world, garnered three times as many Nobel Prizes over the past two decades as the universities of Oxford and Cambridge did combined. "