Clarivate Analytics and Chinese Academy of Sciences Collaborate on Report Identifying Hottest and Emerging Fields in Scientific Research

Hottest fields include Detection of Dark Matter, Advances in Crop Science and Food Science, Global Warming Hiatus and Impact of Biodiversity Loss on the Ecosystem. Hottest emerging fields include Elemental composition of the North Atlantic Ocean and Southern Ocean, and Energy Management Strategies of Hybrid Electric Bus.

PHILADELPHIA, October 31, 2016 – Clarivate Analytics and Chinese Academy of Sciences today released “Research Fronts 2016”, an annual report identifying prominent areas of scientific research over the past year. This is the third collaborative report from these two organizations.

The paper identifies 180 key research fronts including 100 hot and 80 emerging fronts, based on a comprehensive analysis of scientific literature citations. The analysis generated 12,188 research fronts in the Essential Science Indicators (ESI) database from 2009 until 2015. Research fronts are specialties discovered when scientists cite one another’s work, reflecting a specific commonality in the research, which can be experimental data, a concept or hypothesis or even a method.

Working in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Clarivate bibliometric experts utilized the ESI database, a web-based research analytics platform and a unique compilation of science performance metrics and trend data based on scholarly paper publication counts and citation data from the Web of ScienceTM. Once identified, the research fronts built on recently published “core” or foundational journal articles.

The 2016 report also features an analysis of the current and potential performance of six leading countries in the 180 research fronts – USA, China, UK, Germany, France and Japan. Analysts at the Institutes of Science and Development and the National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences also analyzed the 180 research fronts provided by Clarivate in great depth and interpreted it to highlight 28 research fronts of particular interest.

“We are honored and pleased to once again collaborate with CAS to produce this year’s Research Fronts report with expanded content,” said Linda Guo, managing director of China, Clarivate Analytics. “The combined strength of trusted data and analysis capabilities from Clarivate, with the Chinese Academy’s deep expertise in scientific research not only increases the depth of the report, but also provides a solid foundation to help researchers, funding agencies, administrators, policy makers and other key stakeholders make better decisions by identifying research trends and new areas of study. The analysis of research fronts at a national level can provide insights about a country’s current and potential leading performance.”

The president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr Bai Chunli said, “To produce this joint Research Fronts 2016 report with Clarivate Analytics, we undertook extensive thesis data analysis to provide a meaningful analysis and interpretation of the global research and technology landscape and competitive structure. In the process, we enhanced the method of combining thesis analysis with expert opinion, and showcased China’s expertise in evaluating cutting-edge research fields. This collaborative project also underscores the importance of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ role as China’s foremost think tank on global science and technology issues and trends as a pioneer supporter of China’s S&T development.”


Ten noteworthy topics among the hottest research fronts are:

Hot Research Fronts Field of Science
Galactic center gamma-ray excess (indirect detection of dark matter) Physics
Mechanism of plant innate immunity Agricultural, Plant and Animal Sciences
Biodiversity loss and its impact on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Global warming hiatus Geosciences
Immune checkpoint inhibitors anti-PD-1 antibodies in melanoma immunotherapy Clinical Medicine
Differentiation, Function, and Metabolism of T cells Biological Sciences
Phosphors for white LEDs Chemistry and Materials Science
Observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) by Planck Astronomy and Astrophysics
The internet of things, cloud manufacturing and related information technology services Computer Science and Engineering
DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) based assessment of environmental and energy efficiency Economics, Psychology and other social sciences


Eight noteworthy topics among the emerging research fronts are:


Emerging Research Fronts Field of Science
Experimental realization of fractional Chern insulators Physics
Effects of Systemic insecticides (neonicotinoids and fipronil) on non-target organisms and environment Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Elemental composition of the North Atlantic Ocean and Southern Ocean Geosciences
Global warming hiatus Geosciences
Programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitors for the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer Clinical Medicine
Methylammonium lead iodide perovskite degradation by water Chemistry and Materials Science
Studies of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta Astronomy and Astrophysics
Energy management strategies of hybrid electric bus Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
Principles of chromatin looping and evolution of chromosomal domain architecture Biological Sciences


Read the full report: ‘Research Fronts 2016.’  Learn more about Essential Science IndicatorsSM, InCites™ and Web of Science.

About Clarivate Analytics

ClarivateTM Analytics accelerates the pace of innovation by providing trusted insights and analytics to customers around the world, enabling them to discover, protect and commercialize new ideas, faster. Formerly the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters, we’ve been assisting our customers for over 60 years. Now as an independent company with over 4,000 employees, operating in   more than 100 countries around the world, we remain expert, objective and agile. For more information, please visit us at

About Chinese Academy of Sciences  

The Chinese Academy of Sciences 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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