Influential authors

76 Max Planck scientists among the most highly cited researchers 2018

November 27, 2018

The Clarivate Analytics citation analysis, now in its fifth year, provides information about researchers who have published the most highly cited publications in recent years. In addition to the research areas, the institutions for which they work are also listed. With a total of 356 successful scientists, Germany ranks fourth among the scientific locations after the USA, Great Britain, and China. Among the research organisations, the Max Planck Society ranks fifth behind Harvard University (USA), the National Institutes of Health (USA), Stanford University (USA), and the Chinese Academy of Science.

Science hotspots: The most successful scientists work in North America, Europe, and China. Australia is catching up.

This year, a new category has been introduced to recognize interdisciplinary work. The cross-field category reflects the fact that an immunologist today is likely both a biochemist and molecular biologist, and a chemist is also a materials scientist and even an engineer. 24 Max Planck scientists alone are assigned to this new category, including Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Ilme Schlichting from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, and Ferdi Schüth from the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Mülheim.

 The most important results at a glance:

  • Some 4000+ Highly Cited Researchers are named in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences. Approximately half of the new scientists were added to the list in 2018.
  • With 2,639 authors, most influential scientists work in the United States. 546 researchers from the United Kingdom and 482 from China are listed.
  • Scientists from Sweden, Austria, Singapore, Denmark, China and South Korea are the most successful in interdisciplinary research.
  • This year's list includes 17 Nobel Laureates, including Stefan Hell from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014, as well as this year's laureates James P. Allison and William D. Nordhaus.
  •  Australian research institutes are among the rising stars. Australia's position in the ranking has improved significantly since 2014, from 80 successful researchers to 170 in 2018.
  • China is moving up to third place in the country ranking and has put Germany in fourth place. "Of course, you have to take into account that the number of highly cited scientists also depends on the size of the country," says Lutz Bornmann, bibliographer of the Max Planck Society.
  • The National Institutes of Health, which are responsible for biomedical and health-related research in the United States, rank among the top five leading science organizations, as do the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Society.

The methodology that determines the who’s who of high-impact researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute of Scientific Information at Clarivate Analytics. The publication and citation data come from the Web of Science, a web-based database for scientific and commercial purposes containing the scientific literature of over 30,000 journal titles.

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