PHILADELPHIA, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters today announced this year's Hottest Researchers, a ranking of the most influential scientific researchers and research papers on ScienceWatch, the open web resource for science metrics and analysis. Tracking researchers whose recently published papers recorded notably higher levels of citations during 2012, along with the most highly cited individual papers of the year, this annual report spotlights emerging trends in science and the innovators behind them.
Following are among some of the key findings noted in the report:
- Genomics is Hottest Field of Study: Genomics was the primary field of study for 8 of the 21 Hottest Researchers, including a landmark paper, "A Map of Human Genome Variation from Population-Scale Sequencing," to which Dr. Richard K. Wilson and three of the other featured researchers contributed. This publication currently ranks among biology's most-cited papers.
- Ties to BRCA Gene Identification that Led to Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy: Several of the hottest researchers are actively involved in cancer research, including Dr. Andrew Futreal who identified the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which indicate a person's susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Futreal's findings have influenced thousands of women's decisions regarding mastectomy and hysterectomy operations.
- Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Is a Hotbed for Genomics Research: Four of the 21 hottest researchers are from Washington University, St. Louis, MO, all in the field of genomics. The hottest researcher of the year, Dr. Richard K. Wilson, comes from this institution.
- Chinese Institutions Produce 4 of 21 Hottest Researchers: Among the 21 Hottest Researchers of 2012, four hail from research institutions in China. These include the Beijing Genomics Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Chemistry, Wuhan University and Shenyang National Laboratory.
- Alternative Energy and Health Drive Substantial New Research: The ongoing effort to develop alternative energies – specifically polymer solar cells – accounts for four of the year's Hottest papers, while abiding health concerns in the developing world (malaria) and developed world (obesity and cardiovascular disease) account for 10 of the Hottest papers of the year.
- New England Journal of Medicine Published Greatest Number of Highly Cited Papers: Among the 51 individual research papers receiving the highest number of citations in 2012, 13 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the highest number of Hottest Papers among all journals tracked in the report. Nature followed with 9 and Physics Letters B had 8 Hot Papers.
The hunt for the Higgs Boson (aka The 'God Particle') looms large on the 2012 list of most-cited papers, accounting for the #1 and #2 entries on the list. The most highly cited individual paper published in 2012, "Combined Search for the Standard Model Higgs Boson," by G. Aad, et al. received a total of 202 citations during the year. Ultimately, Higgs Boson-related research accounted for nearly one-fifth of the 51 papers featured on this year's Hottest Research list. Many Higgs Boson research collaborations list upwards of 3,000 authors. As such, ScienceWatch has conferred honorable mention on the scientists of the ATLAS Collaboration, whose particle detector work using the Large Hadron Collider at CERN led to 22 recent reports that qualified as Hot Papers.
"Our annual Hottest Research ranking offers a unique perspective on the trends and influencers who are shaping the future of science," said Christopher King, editor, ScienceWatch. "By applying our rigorous analysis of citation data from the Web of Science to the full body of scientific literature published each year, we are able to put the pieces in place to begin to forecast tomorrow's biggest breakthroughs."
The year's Hottest Researchers were identified using citations that occurred during calendar year 2012 for papers published between 2010 and 2012. The list of Hottest Papers tracks total citations to non-review papers during calendar year 2012. To compile both lists, ScienceWatch draws on data and commentary from Thomson Reuters bibliometric experts and Essential Science IndicatorsSM, a unique compilation of science performance statistics and science trends data based on journal article publication counts and citation data from the Web of Science®.
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SOURCE Thomson Reuters