The rankings are based on the popularity of a think tank's website, average yearly revenue of a think tank, average number of printed media references per year by outside organizations, and the number of categories in which a think tank was ranked by the University of Pennsylvania.
Think Tank Watch should point out that the list from TheBestSchools.org includes a number of institutions that are not generally considered think tanks.
Here is a list of the top 25:
- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
- Earth Institute
- Heritage Foundation
- Human Rights Watch
- Kaiser Family Foundation
- Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
- Brookings Institution
- Cato Institute
- Ludwig von Mises Institute
- American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
- RAND Corp.
- Center for American Progress (CAP)
- Alan Guttmacher Institute
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBBP)
- National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
- Electronic Privacy Information Center
- Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE)
- Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
- Urban Institute
- Economic Policy Institute (EPI)
- Aspen Institute
- Wilson Center
- Hoover Institution
- Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
- Center for Immigration Studies
Here is how the latest University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings have ranked what it considers to be the top think tanks.
Over the years there have been a number of different ways that people and organizations have ranked think tanks, including this one by the Center for Global Development (CGD).
Here is a ranking of think tanks by media citations from Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).
Update: Alejandro Chafuen, President of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, has already found major mistakes in TheBestSchools.org think tank rankings.