UC Santa Cruz ranks at the very top – 99.9th percentile – in research influence, and 11th overall among the 100 top universities in the world less than 50 years old, according to an annual analysis by Times Higher Education (THE).

"I am delighted that UCSC's world-class research and teaching have again been recognized by the Times Higher Education's authoritative analysis," UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal said.

In the key citation index (30 percent of the final score) that measures the influence of an institution's research, UCSC was at the top. This examines a university's research influence by capturing the number of times its published works are cited by scholars across the globe. The data are drawn from the 12,000 academic journals indexed by Thomson Reuters' Web of Science database and include all indexed journals published between 2006 and 2010.

Times Higher Education uses the same range of 13 performance indicators to rank institutions for the "100 under 50" as it uses for its World University Rankings published in the fall, a list on which UCSC ranked 122. There, UCSC ranked second in the world for research influence.

THE said it reduces the weight of subjective indicators for academic reputation and prestige for the younger universities, reasoning that older universities have more time to build up a reputation with deeper, wider, "and more established alumni networks with graduates more likely to hold senior positions in universities and society at large, all of which can bolster their reputations.

"It was agreed that an analysis of younger institutions, designed to examine future potential as much as current excellence and to move away from heritage or legacy, should be based more on hard, objective ­performance indicators," THE wrote in its analysis.

The weighting given to reputation has been reduced from a third in the World University Rankings to just over a fifth in the "100 Under 50" list.

UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine, both founded in 1965, were the only American universities to rank in the top dozen overall on the "100 under 50." Irvine was fifth. Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea was ranked first.

The principal criteria THE uses are:
•    Research: volume, income and reputation (30 percent);
•    Citations: research influence; (30 percent);
•    Teaching: the learning environment (30 percent)
•    International outlook: people and research (7.5 percent);
•    Industry income: innovation (2.5 percent)

Times Higher Education, formerly known as Times Higher Education Supplement, is a weekly British magazine based in London reporting specifically on news and other issues related to higher education. Its World University Rankings first appeared in 2004.