2022 Analysis

Transforming human ingenuity into our world’s greatest breakthroughs

“Research fuels the race for knowledge and it is important that nations and institutions celebrate the individuals who drive the wheel of innovation. The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers. These individuals are helping to transform human ingenuity into our world’s greatest breakthroughs – and it is an honor to celebrate their achievements.”

Clarivate™ is this year announcing 7,225 Highly Cited Researcher designations that are being issued to 6,938 individuals. The number of HCR designations exceeds individuals because some researchers receive recognition in more than one Essential Science Indicators™ field. The analysis of nations and institutions counts HCR designations or appearances and is thus based on the total of 7,225.

The 7,225 Highly Cited Researcher designations of 2022 are unevenly distributed by field, in accordance with the size of each.

The table below summarizes the number of researchers in each ESI field and in the cross-field category.

Highly Cited Researchers by ESI field and cross-field category

ESI Field Number of Highly Cited Researchers
Agricultural Sciences 116
Biology and Biochemistry 303
Chemistry 270
Clinical Medicine 466
Computer Science 115
Economics and Business 92
Engineering 153
Environment and Ecology 202
Geosciences 148
Immunology 214
Materials Science 222
Mathematics 52
Microbiology 129
Molecular Biology and Genetics 206
Neuroscience and Behavior 225
Pharmacology and Toxicology 153
Physics 176
Plant and Animal Science 185
Psychiatry and Psychology 191
Social Sciences 270
Space Science 93
Total 3,981
Cross-field 3,244
Grand total 7,225

Highly Cited Researchers 2022 work in some 70 countries/regions, but 82.9% are from just 10 and 71.4% from the first five, a remarkable concentration of top talent.

Our analysis is based on primary researcher affiliations, as specified by Highly Cited Researchers™ themselves. The United States is the institutional home for 2,764 Highly Cited Researchers 2022, which amounts to 38.3% of the group, down from 39.7% in 2021, 41.5% in 2020, 44.0% in 2019 and 43.3% in 2018. By contrast, of all the papers indexed in Web of Science™ from 2011 to 2021 the percentage with a U.S. author was 24.9%.

Mainland China is second this year, as it has been for several years, with 1,169 Highly Cited Researchers, or 16.2%, up from 14.2% in 2021, 12.1% in 2020, 10.2% in 2019 and 7.9% in 2018. In other words, in five years Mainland China has more than doubled its share of the Highly Cited Researchers population. The United Kingdom, with 579 researchers or 8.0%, is third. Rounding out the top 10, all with 100 or more Highly Cited Researchers, are Germany (369), Australia (337), Canada (226), The Netherlands (210), France (134), Switzerland (112) and Singapore (106), which is new to the top 10 this year. These figures do not include the few cases in which a Highly Cited Researcher opted to list a primary affiliation that represented a Research Fellowship rather than a permanent home base.


Researchers from Mainland China in 2022


Loss in Highly Cited Researchers
for the United States this year

As mentioned, Mainland China has increased its share of Highly Cited Researchers significantly in recent years. Of course, world share is a zero-sum game so as Mainland China increases its number of Highly Cited Researchers, other countries/regions decline. This year, we observe a significant 1.4% loss in Highly Cited Researchers for the United States, and 5.0% since 2018. This contrasts with an increase of 8.3% for Mainland China since 2018. The United Kingdom exhibits a rise of 0.5% since last year and a decline of 1.0% since 2018. Germany has lost 0.8% share since 2018. Meanwhile, Australia is gaining share, moving from 4.0% in 2018 to a 4.7% share this year. The newcomer to the top 10 is Singapore, which increased its number of Highly Cited Researchers to 106, up from 90 last year, attaining a 1.5% world share of Highly Cited Researchers. The headline story then, as it has been lately, is one of sizeable gains for Mainland China and continuing incremental loss of share for the United States, which reflects a transformational rebalancing of scientific and scholarly contributions at the top level through the globalization of the research enterprise.

Highly Cited Researchers by country or region

Rank Country/Region Number of HCRs 2022 World Share (%)
1 United States 2,764 38.3
2 China, Mainland 1,169 16.2
3 United Kingdom 579 8
4 Germany 369 5.1
5 Australia 337 4.7
6 Canada 226 3.1
7 The Netherlands 210 2.9
8 France 134 1.9
9 Switzerland 112 1.6
10 Singapore 106 1.5

In the 2022 ranking of institutions, 51 organizations – whether universities, government agencies or other entities – are home to 26 or more Highly Cited Researchers. The university with the greatest number of Highly Cited Researchers is Harvard, as it has been in past years. Its 233 Highly Cited Researchers 2022 place it well ahead of third ranked Stanford University, with 126. Among governmental and other types of research organizations, the Chinese Academy of Sciences heads the list (228), nearly surpassing Harvard, followed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (113), the Max Planck Society (67), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (52) and the Broad Institute (28). This year, as last year, we have counted the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) as part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, an association also indicated in the Organization-Enhanced data of Web of Science (Chinese Academy of Sciences: University of Science and Technology of China, CAS). USTC is also listed separately in the table to provide insight on its contribution to the CAS total.


Highly Cited Researchers are
from Harvard

Highly Cited Researchers by organization

Rank Name Number of HCRs
1 Harvard University, United States 233
2 Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Mainland 228
3 Stanford University, United States 126
4 National Institutes of Health (NIH) – USA, United States 113
5 Tsinghua University, China Mainland 73
6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States 71
7 Max Planck Society, Germany 67
8 University of California San Diego, United States 66
9 University of Oxford, United Kingdom 63
10 University of Pennsylvania, United States 62
11 University of California Berkeley, United States 61
12 Johns Hopkins University, United States 56
13 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, United States 52
14 Columbia University, United States 51
15 University College London, United Kingdom 50
16 Yale University, United States 49
17 Washington University (WUSTL), United States 48
18 University of Cambridge, United Kingdom 47
19 Cornell University, United States 46
19 University of California San Francisco, United States 46
19 University of Washington Seattle, United States 46
22 University of Queensland, Australia 45
23 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 44
24 University of California Los Angeles, United States 43
25 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, United States 40
26 University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 38
26 University of Melbourne, Australia 38
28 University of Toronto, Canada 36
29 National University of Singapore, Singapore 35
30 Imperial College London, United Kingdom 34
31 Mayo Clinic, United States 33
31 University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia 33
33 Hunan University, China Mainland 32
33 Northwestern University, United States 32
35 Peking University, China Mainland 31
35 University of Minnesota, United States 31
35 University of Texas Austin, United States 31
38 Duke University, United States 30
38 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, United States 30
38 University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom 30
38 University of Maryland, United States 30
38 University of Michigan, United States 30
38 University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, United States 30
44 University of Chicago, United States 29
44 Utrecht University, The Netherlands 29
44 Zhejiang University, China Mainland 29
47 Broad Institute, United States 28
47 King’s College London, United Kingdom 28
49 Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel 27
50 City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 26
50 Suzhou University, China Mainland 26
Highly Cited Researchers from Tsinghua University

The top ranked institutions show little change in position compared to last year, including the same order for the first four. Tsinghua University moved up to fifth position from eighth this year thanks to an increase in Highly Cited Researchers from 58 last year to 73 this year. New entrants to the ranking include Imperial College London at 30th, which just missed the cut last year, Hunan University at 33rd, which upped its share of Highly Cited Researchers from 15 last year to 32 this year, the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan at 30th, the Weizmann Institute of Science at 49th and the City University of Hong Kong and Suzhou University, tied for 50th place with 26 Highly Cited Researchers apiece.

Highly Cited Researchers identified in the cross-field category

Among the 3,981 researchers named as Highly Cited in the 21 ESI fields, 219, or 5.5%, appear in two ESI fields and only 32, or 0.8%, appear in three or more fields. (Cross-field researchers, of which there are 3,244, qualify in only one category or else they would have been chosen in one or more ESI fields.)

It is important to understand the difference between selection as a Highly Cited Researcher in the cross-field category and selection in more than one ESI field. Both classes of individuals have demonstrated significant research influence across fields. Cross-field researchers, however, qualify for selection based on the sum of their highly cited papers and citations that meets a normalized threshold equivalent to selection in any field whereas those named in multiple fields qualify outright in each field.

of Highly Cited Researchers appear in three or more fields

Finally, this year as in the last three years, a filter was applied to remove researchers whose level of self-citation exceeded, by far, the typical patterns of each field.

This procedure has and will continue to help maintain the purpose of our selection process and the integrity of our data: to identify researchers with broad community influence and not those whose citation profile is narrow and substantially self-generated. Three other filters are also employed, two before the analysis begins and one at its conclusion. Highly cited papers that have been retracted are excluded from the analysis. Also, massively multi-authored highly cited papers are not included in our analysis: to award credit to a single author among tens or hundreds listed on a paper strains reason, so any highly cited paper with more than 30 authors or explicit group authorship, in any of the 21 fields, was eliminated before beginning our analysis.

At the end of our analysis, we search for cases of research misconduct among those researchers tentatively selected. Those found to have committed scientific misconduct in formal proceedings conducted by a researcher’s institution, a government agency, a funder or a publisher are removed from the list of Highly Cited Researchers.