The Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, has released its annual list of Highly Cited Researchers. The highly anticipated list identifies scientists and social scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year of publication, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers.
The methodology that determines the ‘who’s who’ of influential researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute for Scientific Information at the Web of Science Group.
The key findings for 2019 show that 6,216 Highly Cited Researchers in various fields from nearly 60 nations. The United States is home to the highest number of Highly Cited Researchers, with 2,737 authors, representing 44% of the researchers on the list. Harvard University, home to 203 researchers is the institution has the highest concentration of Highly Cited Researchers in the world. California is also a hotbed of talent, with Stanford University (103), and the University of California campuses at Berkeley, San Diego and Los Angeles are all home to 50+ researchers each.
Findings reveal that Mainland China has seen a huge surge, with 636 researchers named Highly Cited Researchers compared to 482 in 2018. In the main 21 Essential Science Indicator (ESI) categories, there has been a three-fold increase in the number of researchers named since 2014. As China increased its share of Highly Cited Researchers, other nations declined. The number of Highly Cited Researchers based at institutions in the United Kingdom has dropped to 516 this year, compared to 546 in 2018. Numbers of Highly Cited Researchers based in Germany and the Netherlands have also fallen.
This year’s list includes 23 Nobel laureates, including three announced this year: Gregg L. Semenza of Johns Hopkins University (Physiology or Medicine), John B. Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin (Chemistry), and Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Economics). This year’s list of Highly Cited Researchers also includes 57 Citation Laureates; individuals recognised by the Web of Science Group through citation analysis, who are ‘of Nobel class’ and potential Nobel Prize recipients.
A total of 3,517 researchers are celebrated for their performance in the 21 ESI fields, and 2,491 for cross-field performance, for a total of 6,008 unique researchers, as some Highly Cited Researchers appear in more than one field. This is the second year that researchers with cross-field impact – those with exceptional broad performance based on high impact papers across several fields – have been identified. Of the researchers named as Highly Cited in the 21 ESI fields, 185, or 5%, appear in two ESI categories while an exceptional 11 researchers showed exceptional broad performance by being named as Highly Cited in three categories. They are based all over the globe – in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Findings further reveal that Australian research institutes continue to impress. The number of researchers recognised as Highly Cited has more than tripled in six years, from 80 in 2014 to 271 in 2019, among those selected in one or more of the 21 fields. Australian research institutions appear to have recruited a significant number of Highly Cited Researchers since 2014 while also increasing their number of homegrown Highly Cited Researchers.
The data are taken from 21 broad research fields within Essential Science Indicators, a component of InCites. The fields are defined by sets of journals and exceptionally, in the case of multidisciplinary journals such as Nature and Science, by a paper-by-paper assignment to a field based on an analysis of the cited references in the papers. This percentile-based selection method removes the citation advantage of older papers relative to recently published ones, since papers are weighed against others in the same annual cohort.
The full 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary is available online at https://recognition.webofsciencegroup.com/awards/highly-cited/2019/.
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