The beginning of the calendar year is traditionally a quiet time in the rankings business – at least in terms of new data being released.

However, from a reputation standpoint, the real action is taking place during this period as the academic surveys driving the reputation elements of the QS and Times Higher Education world rankings are in full flow.

Following the W100 research project on Rankings Influencers in 2017, many universities have now developed proactive strategies to maximise their impact in these reputation surveys, including engagement activity with their own academics to raise visibility of the surveys, and brand campaigns to target faculty in other institutions.

It will be fascinating to see whether evidence of the effectiveness of these campaigns starts to emerge when the world rankings results season kicks off later in the year.

Meanwhile, the first rankings release of the year will be the QS World University Rankings by Subject, which are due to be published on 27th February.

The rankings cover 52 subject areas and are driven by data from the QS reputation surveys of academics and employers, and research metric data from Scopus.