Clarivate statement on Highly Cited Researcher affiliations

Company Statement

Clarification of how we identify and publish primary researcher affiliations in the Highly Cited Researchers program 

David Pendlebury – Head of Research Analysis, Institute for Scientific Information 

Clarivate is trusted by universities, governments and research assessment organizations globally to provide accurate, verifiable and trustworthy data. 

In order to protect the integrity of the annual Highly Cited Researchers™ list, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)™ draws on both quantitative and qualitative analysis to create the annual list of researchers along with their affiliated research institutions. This is a fundamental activity prior to each launch and requires a high degree of vetting and analysis, which takes many months. 

Many of the individuals named to our list have complex research affiliations. It is not unusual for researchers of this caliber to have affiliations with several different research organizations – academic and commercial – or to move to new positions in other institutions in other countries and regions. This is why, each year, Clarivate asks Highly Cited Researchers to verify their affiliations to us. 

We follow a careful and pragmatic process for this. Prior to launch we open a month-long validation period, where we attempt to contact researchers on multiple occasions using the contact details they provide on their highly cited published papers. We share a personalized survey link to request that they verify how they would like their name to appear on our list, along with the locations of their primary and, if applicable, any secondary research affiliations. We prompt the researcher on multiple occasions to verify their details over the period prior to launch. The personal survey link allows us to accurately track and keep a record of all institutional affiliation requests. As a result, our published Highly Cited Researchers list reflects the information available from the scholarly record, combined with input and any requested updates from the researchers themselves. 

Clarivate welcomes accuracy and clarity in researchers’ own claims of primary and secondary affiliations in the annual Highly Cited Researchers list. 

The institutions of some of the Highly Cited Researchers are increasingly enforcing norms and standards that were previously overlooked in cases of payment, regarding terms of employment and holding researchers accountable for which institutions are listed as their primary affiliation on the Highly Cited Researchers list. Supporting and reinforcing research integrity in publication and in professional representation can only benefit the scientific and scholarly community. Clarivate endorses the actions of universities and research organizations to monitor and manage the activities and behaviours of their employees with respect to specifying correct home institutions which reflect their permanent tenured positions. 

Please see our methodology and Highly Cited Researchers for additional information. 

Media inquiries only to: 

Note to Highly Cited Researchers: The validation period for the 2023 list will take place later this year and you will be contacted to confirm your details. If you would like to share this information with us earlier: Please send your name, area of research and the name of your preferred primary affiliation (one only) and any secondary affiliations to, using your institutional email. Only direct correspondence from individual researchers can be considered. Please note that all past Highly Cited Researchers lists are final and we cannot accept change requests for previous years. 

Subscribe to our news

Let's stay in touch. Subscribe to our latest announcements.