May 27, 2022

Citation Analysis: Clarivate Analytics Releases “Highly Cited Researchers 2018: Identifying Top Talent in the Sciences and Social Sciences”

From Clarivate Analytics:

2018-11-27_14-30-09Since 2014, Clarivate Analytics has presented Highly Cited Researchers – a list of elite scientists and social scientists selected for their exceptional research performance, as demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.

This year, for the first time, Highly Cited Researchers introduces a new Cross-Field category to identify researchers with substantial influence across several fields during 2006-2016. 2,020 researchers with Cross-Field impact now join 4,058 who have been selected in one or more of 21 broad fields, such as Biochemistry, Engineering, Physics, etc.

An increase of 50% is substantial, but 6,078 researchers still represents a very small fraction of all scientists and social scientists actively publishing today.

Since introducing Highly Cited Researchers in 2014, Clarivate Analytics has received the suggestion from many that limiting the methodology for selection to only those with a required number of highly cited papers in a single field, as defined in Essential Science Indicators (ESI), discriminates against researchers who publish highly cited papers in several fields but not enough in any one field to be chosen.

We responded to this concern. In line with recommendations on best practice, we always want to ensure that any metrics or analyses that we produce are structured and presented in a responsible manner. Extending the identification of Highly Cited Researchers to cross-disciplinary work fulfills that goal.

The challenge for us was finding a method that took account of the different threshold number of highly cited papers in each field so that those contributing papers in several fields could be compared in an equal manner with those selected in one or more ESI fields. The solution chosen was to fractionally count the credit for each highly cited paper such that a paper in a field with a high threshold number of papers was weighted less than a paper in a field with a lower threshold number of papers.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.