The International Research Network (IRN) was included for the first time in the 2016/17 edition of the QS University Rankings: Latin America, and has now been expanded to all the other regional rankings.
This indicator assesses the degree of international diversity in terms of research collaboration for each evaluated institution. The Margalef Index, widely used in the environmental sciences, has been adapted to estimate the richness of the selected international research partners for a given institution. Specifically, the QS International Research Network index is calculated with the following formula:
IRN = (L – 1) / ln P
L = Total locations
P = Total number of international partners
For the regional rankings, this metric considers the distinct count of international peer institutions collaborating in 3 or more papers indexed by Scopus in a five-year period (2012 to 2016 for the 2019 edition).