Clarivate Plc, a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has released their joint report ‘Research Fronts 2020’ to identify the hottest and emerging areas in scientific research. The seventh annual collaborative report between Clarivate and CAS was launched at a joint forum held at the CAS in Beijing.
The 2020 report identified 148 Research Fronts, including 110 hot and 38 emerging specialties spanning 11 broad research areas in sciences and social sciences. Research Fronts are formed when clusters of highly cited papers are frequently cited together, reflecting a specific commonality in the research – sometimes experimental data, a method, a concept or a hypothesis. Several Research Fronts identified in recent years reflected the award-winning research of Nobel prize winners. For instance, in the area of Physics, recent reports recognised Research Fronts related to black holes which was recognised by the Nobel committee in 2020. Genome editing, which was recognised by the Nobel committee for the 2020 Chemistry prize, was also identified as a Research Front for several years.
Working in collaboration with the Institute of Science and Development and the National Science Library, both affiliated with CAS, bibliometric experts from Clarivate utilised the Essential Science Indicators (ESI)™ database which is built on the foundation of the Web of Science™ index to conduct co-citation analysis. The 2020 report starts with 11,626 Research Fronts in ESI from 2014 to 2019 and aims to discover which Research Fronts were most active or developing most rapidly. Analysts at CAS analysed the 148 Research Fronts in great depth and interpreted them to highlight 31 key Research Fronts of particular interest.
In conjunction with the Research Fronts 2020 report, Clarivate and CAS also published an analytical report entitled, ‘2020 Research Fronts: Active Fields, Leading Countries’ which examines and compares national performance across the 148 Research Fronts. The report assessed the research activity of the world’s major countries and observed how that activity is demonstrated in the Research Fronts in the face of global competition in innovation and technological advancement. It reveals that the US remains the leading nation for research in 11 areas of sciences and social sciences, followed by China in second place.
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