A new official world rankings system is to be launched by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) which, it is claimed, will help competitors and supporters understand the sport better.
The new partnership with Elite Ltd (All Athletics) to create the first official IAAF world rankings will also be used as a qualification mechanism for the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 and the next World Championships in Doha in 2019.
Another important innovation is that the world governing body is establishing a new "IAAF Heritage" to help preserve the sport's history.
The new world rankings and the heritage department is part of the IAAF Reform introduced by President Sebastian Coe at the end of last year.
Elite Ltd is a Hungarian-based company established by the late Spiriev Bojidar in 1979 and which runs All-Athletics.com and claims to be the "most comprehensive athletics database".
"The IAAF world rankings, which will come into operation in 2018, will drive and shape the global competition system including entry into the World Championships and Olympic Games," IAAF President Sebastian Coe, who has been attending the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly here, said.
"For the first time in the sportís history, athletes, media and fans will have a clear understanding of the hierarchy of competitions from national through to area and up to global events, allowing them to follow a logical season-long path to the pinnacle of athletics' top two competitions."
Athletesí position in the IAAF world rankings will be based upon the points they score, the amount determined by their performance and place and the importance of the competition in the IAAF global calendar in which those results are achieved.
The details of the world rankings, including the points system for each event that goes towards the annual world rankings and the eligibility for entry in to the Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships, are due to be finalized in the first quarter of 2018.