Clarivate Analytics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences collaborate on their fifth annual report to identify 100+ Research Fronts

Clarivate Analytics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences collaborate on their fifth annual report to identify 100+ Research Fronts

Highlights 100 hot research areas and 38 emerging specialties in global scientific research

PHILADELPHIA, October 24, 2018 – Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to enable researchers to accelerate discovery, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences today released “Research Fronts 2018”, their joint annual report identifying 138 prominent subspecialties of scientific research from 2012 until 2017. A Research Front is a cluster of highly cited papers over a five year period, referred to as ‘core papers’ in a specialized topic, defined by co-citation and cluster analysis.

Early detection of clusters of scientific papers is a significant challenge for scholars at universities and research institutes, as well as policy makers in business and government. Understanding the latest developments in a given field provides insights into future trends – this could help researchers looking for new areas of research, assist with policy decisions on funding and patent applications or to make informed decisions on planned collaborations with other research institutions.

The report launched at today’s joint forum held at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, is the fifth collaborative, annual report and identifies 138 key Research Fronts including 100 hot and 38 emerging specialties spanning 10 broad areas of sciences and social sciences, based on a comprehensive analysis of scientific literature citations.

Working in collaboration with both the Institutes of Science and Development and the National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Clarivate bibliometric experts utilized the Essential Science Indicators (ESI) database, a web-based research analytics platform, and a unique compilation of science performance metrics and trend data based on scholarly publication and citation data from the Web of Science platform from 2012 – 2017. It is worth mentioning that some of the key Research Fronts identified in recent years are related to Nobel Prize award-winning research. One example is the emerging research front in clinical medicine identified last year on cancer diagnosis and treatment – immune-related adverse effects of anti-PD-1 therapy – which is related to the award-winning research by this year’s Nobel Laureates in Medicine or Physiology. Another example is the formation and merger of double compact objects (e.g. binary black holes) which is related to research by the 2017 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics.

“We are most honored to continue our strategic collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and share our fifth annual joint Research Fronts report with the global scientific community,said Linda Guo, Managing Director of Greater China region, Clarivate Analytics. “The report represents the collective strength of trusted data and analysis capabilities from Clarivate Analytics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ deep domain expertise in scientific research. The in-depth analysis of the report provides a solid foundation to help researchers, funding agencies, administrators, policy makers and other key stakeholders make better decisions by identifying key research trends and emerging areas of study. Analyzing Research Fronts at a national level provides critical insights about a country’s current and potential leading performance.”

Deputy President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Zhang Tao said, “In today’s highly competitive global economy and technology landscape, it has become increasingly necessary for us to accurately predict development trends and discern organizational needs, and to continuously strengthen technology innovation in various fields. This requires comprehensive research, deep analysis and strategic judgment in order for us to be able to define the major direction for developing key technology innovations and fields in the future. Understanding the source of science and technology will provide researchers with the critical guidance they need to develop emerging research fronts for tomorrow. We hope the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Clarivate Analytics will continue to deepen our collaboration on frontier research and to develop innovative research methods so that our annual Research Fronts report will become a world-class resource of growing influence in advancing global science and technology.”

In conjunction with the Research Fronts 2018 report, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Clarivate Analytics also published an analytical report entitled “2018 Research Fronts: Active Fields, Leading Countries” which examines and compares national performance across the 138 Research Fronts, thereby reflecting a country’s contribution and citation impact (global influence) across the 10 broad areas. This report reveals that based on the Research Leadership Index of 138 Research Fronts, the USA is still leading global research on 82 Research Fronts followed by China in second place with 32 Research Fronts ahead of the UK and Germany with four and six Research Fronts respectively. China is most prolific in the field of Chemistry and Materials Science, and the field of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering; but is less influential in Clinical Medicine, and the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Twenty noteworthy topics among the 100 hottest Research Fronts are:

Hot Research Fronts Field of Science
Research on genome editing in plants and the utility in crops Agricultural, Plant and Animal Sciences
Regulation mechanism and function of DNA Methylation in plants Agricultural, Plant and Animal Sciences
The formation mechanism of east-central China’s heavy haze pollution in January 2013” Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Monitoring of biodiversity using environmental DNA metabarcoding Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Precambrian geological evolution of the North China Craton” Geosciences
Types and characterization of gas shale pore systems Geosciences
Radionuclides-labeled PSMA PET for diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer Clinical Medicine
Clinical whole-exome sequencing for the diagnosis of genetic diseases Clinical Medicine
Application of cryo-electron microscopy in 3D structure analysis of biological macromolecules Biological Sciences
Application of chromatin conformation capture and its derivative technology based on high-throughput Biological Sciences
Cp*Co(III)-catalyzed C–H activation reactions Chemistry and Materials Science
Nanoarchitectonics Chemistry and Materials Science
Lepton-flavor-violating decays of the Higgs boson and B meson semileptonic decays Physics
Tetraquark and pentaquark states Physics
Exoplanets detection and characterization with Kepler Astronomy and Astrophysics
SDO mission and performance and other heliophysics research Astronomy and Astrophysics
Second strain gradient theory and its application Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
Energy storage device based on advanced hybrid supercapacitor Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
Genomics research on the origins, evolution and migration of human beings Economics, Psychology and other social sciences
Social investigation of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination Economics, Psychology and other social sciences


Seven noteworthy topics among the 38 emerging Research Fronts are:

Emerging Research Fronts Field of Science
Analysis of tree rings and its application in environment and

climate change study

Agricultural, Plant and Animal Sciences
Highly siderophile and strongly chalcophile elements in

high-temperature geochemistry

Zika virus infections and prevention Clinical Medicine
Introgression of the mosquito and its reticular phylogenetic patterns Biological Sciences
Non-noble metal-based bifunctional electrocatalysts for overall water splitting Chemistry and Materials Science
Standard model interpretation of 750 GeV diphoton Physics
Formation and merger of double compact objects (e.g. binary black hole) Astronomy and Astrophysics

The full ‘Research Fronts 2018 report is available in Simplified Chinese here and English here.

Clarivate Analytics

Clarivate Analytics is the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation. Building on a heritage going back more than a century and a half, we have built some of the most trusted brands across the innovation lifecycle, including the Web of Science, Cortellis, Derwent, CompuMark, MarkMonitor and Techstreet.  Today, Clarivate Analytics is a new and independent company on a bold entrepreneurial mission, to help our clients radically reduce the time from new ideas to life-changing innovations. For more information, please visit

About the Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is the linchpin of China’s drive to explore and harness high technology and the natural sciences for the benefit of China and the world. Comprising a comprehensive research and development network, a merit-based learned society and a system of higher education, CAS brings together scientists and engineers from China and around the world to address both theoretical and applied problems using world-class scientific and management approaches. Since its founding, CAS has fulfilled multiple roles — as a national team and a locomotive driving national technological innovation, a pioneer in supporting nationwide S&T development, a think tank delivering S&T advice, and a community for training young S&T talent. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:
Pamela Lim
Clarivate Analytics
Senior External Communications Manager, Asia Pacific
+65 3158 0607 (o)

Sofia Nogues
Clarivate Analytics
External Communications Manager
+34 935502117 (o)

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