May 22, 2022

Citation Analysis: The Top Cited Papers in Scopus (2001-2011)

The following full text article appears in the latest issue (September 2014) of Elsevier’s Research Trends newsletter.


10 years of research impact: top cited papers in Scopus 2001-2011


Dr. Gali Halevi

Dr. Henk F. Moed


Research Trends
September 2014
Issue 38

From the Introduction

Scopus is celebrating 10 years since its launch. As the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature available today, Scopus boasts 53 million records, 21,915 titles from 5,000 publishers. In this paper we aimed to identify some of the top cited papers indexed in Scopus across various disciplines between 2001 and 2011. In addition, we contacted the authors of these papers to seek their insight about why they think their papers are as highly cited as they are.

In order to achieve this, we conducted a comprehensive search on all Scopus data, limiting the results to articles published between 2001 and 2011.


The initial search results yielded more than 13 million records (as of June 11, 2014). This set was further refined, to include only full research articles while excluding reviews, editorials or book chapters. The search results were then limited to one of Scopus’ 26 subject categories at a time (see Table 1 for full list). Each set of articles under a subject category was sorted by “cited by” counts (i.e. citations), which enables the highly cited articles to be identified.

In this paper we review the following 8 subject areas and their top cited articles:

  • Agricultural and Biological Science
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Computer Science
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Medicine

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