Researchers are selected for their exceptional performance in one or more of 21 fields (those used in the Essential Science Indicators™, or ESI) or across several fields.
Experts from the Institute for Scientific Information™ provide exclusive insight into the list of Highly Cited Researchers 2022, including regional, institutional and field of study breakdowns and much more.
This is the fifth year that we have identified researchers with cross-field impact. The recognition of researchers with substantial influence in several fields keeps the list of Highly Cited Researchers contemporary and relevant.
All Highly Cited Researcher records are reviewed. Factors such as retractions, misconduct, and extreme self-citation — all of which would detract from true community-wide research influence — may lead to an author being excluded from the list. This year, we expanded the qualitative analysis of the Highly Cited Researchers list to address increasing concerns over potential misconduct (such as plagiarism, image manipulation, fake peer review). With the assistance of Retraction Watch and its unparalleled database of retractions, Clarivate analysts searched for evidence of misconduct in all publications of those on the preliminary list of Highly Cited Researchers. Researchers found to have committed scientific misconduct in formal proceedings conducted by a researcher’s institution, a government agency, a funder or a publisher are excluded from the list of Highly Cited Researchers.
The number of researchers selected in each field is based on the square root of the population of authors listed on the field’s highly cited papers. The number of those with cross-field influence is determined by finding those who have influence equivalent to those identified in the 21 fields.
For the Highly Cited Researchers 2022 analysis, the papers surveyed were the most recent papers available to us — those published and cited during 2011 to 2021 and which then ranked in the top 1% by citations for their ESI field and year (the definition of a highly cited paper).
The threshold number of highly cited papers for selection differs by field, with Clinical Medicine requiring the most and Pharmacology/Toxicology the least.
A second criterion for selection is the citation count to highly cited papers that ranks a researcher in the top 1% by citations in an ESI field for the period surveyed.
To identify researchers with cross-field influence, highly cited paper and citation counts are normalized through fractionating according to the thresholds required for each field (thus, each Clinical Medicine paper has a smaller unit fraction than one in Pharmacology/Toxicology). Citation counts are fractionated in a similar manner. If the sum of the publication counts and the sum of the citation counts for a researcher equals 1.0 or more, the individual exhibits influence equivalent to a researcher selected in one or more ESI defined fields and is therefore selected as a Highly Cited Researcher for exceptional cross-field performance.
There is no unique or universally agreed concept of what constitutes exceptional research performance and elite status in the sciences and social sciences. Consequently, no quantitative indicators will point to a list that satisfies all expectations or requirements. Moreover, a different basis or formula for selection would generate a different — though likely overlapping — list of names. Thus, the absence of a name on our list cannot be interpreted as inferior performance or stature in comparison to those selected this year.
Although this list is updated and refreshed each year, a Highly Cited Researcher is always a Highly Cited Researcher — whether their name was included in 2014 or 2022.
Please read the full methodology with care to understand both the meaning and the inevitable limitations of our analytical approach.