Clarivate Analytics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences release annual joint report to identify 137 Research Fronts

London, UK and Beijing, China: November 26, 2019 – Clarivate Analytics plc (NYSE: CCC; CCC.WS), a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences today released their joint report “Research Fronts 2019” to identify the hottest and emerging specialty areas in scientific research from 2013 to 2018. This is the sixth annual collaborative report between the two organizations and it was launched at today’s joint forum held at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

The 2019 report identifies a total of 137 Research Fronts, including 100 hot and 37 emerging specialties spanning 10 broad research areas in sciences and social sciences. Research Fronts are formed when clusters of highly cited papers are frequently cited together, reflecting a specific commonality in the research – sometimes experimental data, a method, a concept or a hypothesis. The ability to identify these Research Fronts and to track emerging specialty areas of research provides a distinct advantage for governments, policy makers, publishers, research administrators and others who monitor, support and advance the conduct of research, often in the face of finite resources.

Working in collaboration with both the Institute of Science and Development, and the National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, bibliometric experts from the Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, utilized the Essential Science Indicators (ESI) database which is built on the foundation of the Web of Science index to do co-citation analysis. The 2019 report starts from 10,587 Research Fronts in ESI from 2013 to 2018 and aims to discover which Research Fronts were most active or developing most rapidly. Analysts at the Chinese Academy of Sciences also analyzed the 137 Research Fronts provided by the Web of Science Group in great depth and interpreted them to highlight 30 key Research Fronts of particular interest.

Research Fronts identified in this year’s report reflect the recent award-winning research highlighted by the Nobel committee in 2019. The ‘hot Research Front’ in astronomy and astrophysics from 2016 to 2018 – Exoplanets detection and characterization with Kepler, which is related to the award-winning research by this year’s Nobel Laureates in Physics. Another example is the key hot Research Front in mathematics, computer sciences and engineering this year – State of charge estimation of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, which reflects the recognition for the development of lithium-ion batteries by the Nobel prize committee for Chemistry 2019.

“We believe that world class information help drive world class scientific research. Our collaborative Research Fronts reports have revealed the evolution of scientific research and the trends in science and technology innovation through trusted data and scientific analysis,” said David Liu, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific for Clarivate Analytics. “Our vision at Clarivate is to improve the way the world creates, protects and advances innovation. We will strengthen our collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences continually to provide world class information and analysis, so as to help researchers, policy makers, funding agencies and industry insiders worldwide make better decisions to advance the global scientific research.”

Professor Bai Chunli, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said: “The Chinese Academy of Sciences is a strategical powerhouse in the country in driving science and technology innovation. We must have answers to issues including how to have a clear understanding of the global scientific research landscape, focus on building world class hub for science and technology development, and seize the breakthrough and opportunities in scientific innovation, so that we can turn them into irreplaceable driving forces in boosting China’s innovative development. As China’s foremost think tank, we need to have solutions in accurately forecasting the development trends in science and technology, providing research basis for China to better support its blueprint in science and technology development.”

In conjunction with the Research Fronts 2019 report, the two organizations also published an analytical report entitled “2019 Research Fronts: Active Fields, Leading Countries” which examines and compares national performance across the 137 Research Fronts, thereby reflecting a country’s contribution and citation impact (global influence) across the 10 broad research areas. This report reveals that based on the Research Leadership Index of 137 Research Fronts, the US is still leading global research followed by China in second place. UK, Germany and France rank the third, fourth and fifth, and China is reducing its gap with US.

Twenty noteworthy topics among the 100 hottest Research Fronts are:

Hot Research Fronts Field of Science
The jasmonate signaling mechanism for regulation of plant growth and defense Agricultural, Plant and Animal Sciences
Application of unmanned aerial systems in crop phenotyping Agricultural, Plant and Animal Sciences
The environmental character, human exposure and health risk of endocrine disruptors Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Phosphorus loads and pollution and health risk of cyanobacterial blooms Ecology and Environmental Sciences
CESM and RCP8.5-based studies of climate change Geosciences
Heavy Metal Contamination of Urban Soils in China: source and risk assessment Geosciences
Efficacy and safety of infliximab biosimilar Clinical Medicine
Role of pericyte degeneration in Alzheimer disease Clinical Medicine
Plasmid-mediated polymyxin resistance gene Biological Sciences
Cas13: a new CRISPR system targeting RNA Biological Sciences
Solar steam generation Chemistry and Materials Sciences
Molecular machines Chemistry and Materials Sciences
New deep-UV nonlinear optical materials Physics
Studies of Majorana fermions in condensed matter physics Physics
Multi-messenger observations of a binary neutron star merger GW170817 Astronomy and Astrophysics
Observational and theoretical research on binary black-hole mergers Astronomy and Astrophysics
Data security in the cloud computing environment Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
State of charge estimation of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
Decomposition analysis method for energy and carbon emissions Economics, Psychology and other Social Sciences
fMRI method for brain functional structure and connection pattern Economics, Psychology and other Social Sciences


Ten noteworthy topics among the 37 emerging Research Fronts are:

Emerging Research Fronts Field of Science
The mechanism of rice OsAUX1 gene in promoting root hair elongation under low phosphorus conditions Agricultural, Plant and Animal Sciences
Effects of environmental pollutants on gut microbiota Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Effects of thermal damage on mechanical behavior of rock Geosciences
Clinical outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with stable coronary artery disease Clinical Medicine
Circular RNA as a novel biomarker for cancer Biological Sciences
Difunctionalization of unactivated alkenes via distal functional group migration strategy Chemistry and Materials Sciences
Studies of B-physics anomalies Physics
Investigations of dark matter in the early universe within 21 cm line observations Astronomy and Astrophysics
Application of convolutional neural network in magnetic resonance image processing Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
Industry 4.0 and its applications Economics, Psychology and other Social Sciences


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Media Contact
Jack Wan, Director of External Communications, Asia Pacific, Clarivate Analytics


About the Web of Science Group 
Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, organizes the world’s research information to enable academia, corporations, publishers and governments to accelerate the pace of research. It is powered by Web of Science – the world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index and research intelligence platform. Its many well-known brands also include Converis, EndNote, Kopernio, Publons, ScholarOne and the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).  The ‘university’ of Web of Science Group, ISI maintains the knowledge corpus upon which the index and related information and analytical content and services are built; it disseminates that knowledge externally through events, conferences and publications and it carries out research to sustain, extend and improve the knowledge base.  For more information, please visit


About Clarivate Analytics
Clarivate Analytics™ is a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation. We have built some of the most trusted brands across the innovation lifecycle, including Web of Science™, Cortellis™, Derwent™, CompuMark™, MarkMonitor™ and Techstreet™. Today, Clarivate Analytics is on a bold entrepreneurial mission to help our clients 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


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