Institute for Scientific Information Redux: The Past Inspires the Future

Institute for Scientific Information Redux: The Past Inspires the Future
by Christopher King
Marketing Communications Manager, Scientific and Academic Research, Clarivate Analytics
Science Research Connect

Before there was Clarivate Analytics, there was the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Founded nearly 60 years ago by pioneering information scientist Dr. Eugene Garfield, ISI launched a revolution in the indexing and retrieval of scientific and scholarly literature. The antecedents of today’s universally respected Web of Science, and many other Clarivate Analytics tools, took shape under the ISI banner. And although the Institute for Scientific Information became less visible, as the business underwent various corporate iterations and rebranding, its spirit remained, like a thread of DNA.

Now, the foundational, innovative pedigree of the Institute for Scientific Information returns to the fore, as Clarivate Analytics – in its second year as a fully independent company – will re-energize the Institute for Scientific Information within its Scientific and Academic Research Group.

The reestablishment of the Institute for Scientific Information marks a renewed commitment to the original spirit of the company and the development of cutting-edge information resources – now more crucial than ever, as the world deals with an ever-increasing torrent of data. The same originality and vision that created the Science Citation Index and Journal Citation Reports will animate ISI. This energy will enlarge the array of newer resources that have followed those original, flagship products, including the performance-assessment tools InCites and Essential Science Indicators, along with the Emerging Sources Citation Index and its coverage of a rapidly expanding landscape of global research.

As a think-tank and incubator, a platform on which to foster new partnerships and collaborations, and a conduit for the creation of new metrics and analytical tools to meet the ever-expanding volume of information and the shifting dynamics of the digital age, the Institute for Scientific Information will continue the six-decade legacy that underpins Clarivate Analytics.

Needless to say, a revivified Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) demands leadership commensurate with that legacy.  Leading the re-establishment and future of ISI, will be Samantha Burridge, Director of Strategy and Transformation, bringing with her over 20 years of broad publishing experience.  Most recently, Burridge established Nature’s Open Research Group in 2013 as Managing Director, and by 2016 had led the group to become the most highly-regarded and fastest growing open access (OA) business in the world. Burridge will be assisted by a strong internal team and a plethora of new hires, including, Dr. Jonathan Adams, who is joining the company – or, more accurately, returning to the company. Adams’s nearly four decades of experience in the application of bibliometrics in research evaluation include the founding of Evidence Ltd in 2000. Prior to that, as policy advisor to the UK’s Advisory Board for the Research Councils, he worked closely with ISI personnel in introducing citation analysis and other evaluative measures to the management of the UK science budget. And from 2009 to 2013, Adams was an official part of Thomson Reuters – the immediate forerunner of Clarivate Analytics – as Director of Research Evaluation. He will join the Institute for Scientific Information in April, 2018, from Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, where he currently holds the post of Chief Scientist, Digital Science.

Another key leadership role will be filled by Dr. Nandita Quaderi, who has joined Clarivate Analytics as Editor in Chief of the Scientific and Academic Research Group. An accomplished research scientist, Quaderi earned a PhD in Molecular Genetics from Imperial College London. Her publishing experience includes a stint at Springer Nature, where, under her guidance, Scientific Reports became the largest journal in the world. As part of ISI, she will determine the metrics that Clarivate Analytics will use to set and measure quality standards across the Web of Science, taking into account additional content types such as peer-reviewed articles, pre-prints, datasets, software, etc.

The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) will benefit from still more experience in publishing and analytics through its engagement with the consulting company SchoolDash. Founded by Dr. Timo Hannay, who was previously the founding managing director of Digital Science and a director at, SchoolDash will support ISI in an advisory capacity, as part of a broader mission to promote data science in academia and education.

This first-class leadership team, with Annette Thomas as CEO, is well-known for taking an innovative and customer-centric approach to re-inventing scholarly communication, workflow and assessment. They have come together again to re-establish ISI, motivated by the opportunity to work with the research community and build upon the original, ground-breaking inspiration of founder Dr. Eugene Garfield in new and innovative ways.

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