The Internet is littered with information about university rankings and comparisons that it is very easy for an applicant to lose track of what exactly he wants to know. Apparently rankings which compare all departments of a university and have a single rank are not very useful from an applicant's perspective. Yet these are the most common rankings one can find. I know of the FT rankings which order MBA schools. It does rank B-schools in terms of research too, but clumps different branches (Accounting, Finance, Operations, etc) into one.
For other departments are there reputable and reliable portals where one can get to know rankings based on various criteria like published research, number of graduates, time taken for graduation, etc?
Are there no well-established ranking systems for academic departments? For example, these ranking systems could be similar to those in cricket or football. Such as periodic updates are made with every publication and every citation, and possibly journal reputation could also be brought into picture. In a way, would that not enhance the competitiveness in academia among similar departments?
I can add your list with two more well-recognized ranks:
They indeed present some divergent results, but I guess they may provide community with some clue about the "best" universities in the world.
Indeed, I agree with you that it'd be more interesting not only check out these "marketing" ranking, that considers a bunch of aspects, sometimes not transparent (!). IMHO, a good "ranking" would depend upon your subject matter, i.e., the research of interest.
You really posed a very nice question, and I'd appreciate to hear from colleagues.