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2021 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers


By Annette R. Mendoza, Research Impact Librarian

Each year, Clarivate Analytics releases a list of Highly Cited Researchers, who have “demonstrated significant and broad influence, reflected in the publication of multiple papers frequently cited by their peers during the last decade”.  Below is a list of the Feinberg researchers who made the list in 2021, their appointment at Feinberg School of Medicine, and the category they were identified in. Congratulations! (Please note that faculty may have more than one appointment.) 

Clarivate evaluates papers that were published and cited from 2010 to 2020 and ranked in the top 1% by citations for the field and year.  A total of 6,602 Highly Cited Researchers were identified in 2021, with 3,744 in specific fields and 2,828 for cross-field performance. The 27 Northwestern researchers who are included on this 2021 list represent departments across the university.  This year, Northwestern is one of six universities to increase more than 10 places in the top 50 list of institutions that the Highly Cited Researchers hail from (currently at 39th).  

The specific fields that Clarivate Analytics utilizes for classification are the 21 fields that are delineated in the Essential Science Indicators (ESI), a database focused on emerging science trends that is updated every two months and contains a 10-year rolling file.  They determine the number of researchers to be selected in each field by taking the square root of the authors that are listed in that field’s highly cited papers. The thresholds for fields related to Feinberg are noted in the table below: 

ESI Field Number of Highly Cited Researchers
Biology and Biochemistry  206
Clinical Medicine 453
Cross-Field 2828
Molecular Biology and Genetics 177
Social Sciences, General 263


Clarivate began identifying researchers with cross-field impact in 2018 in an effort to recognize individuals who demonstrate “exceptional performance across several fields”.  Their calculation methods for this distinction involve normalizing the highly cited paper and citation counts through fractional counting according to the thresholds required for each field. There is detailed information on their methodology available on their website. While a researcher can be a Highly Cited Researcher in more than one ESI field, a cross-field notation indicates the researcher has met the criteria based on the normalization methodology indicated above. 

Read the full report on Highly Cited Researchers for 2021.

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Updated: January 29, 2023