Global Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List Reveals Influential Scientific Researchers and their Institutions

    Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to enable researchers to accelerate discovery, today published its annual Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list. Now in its fifth year, the citation analysis identifies influential researchers as determined by their peers around the globe – those who have consistently won recognition in the form of high citation counts over a decade.  The Web of Science serves as the basis for the regular listings of researchers whose citation records position them in the top 1% by citations for their field and year.

    David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at Clarivate Analytics explained: “This year, a new cross-field category has been added to recognize researchers with substantial influence in several fields but who do not have enough highly cited papers in any one field to be chosen. For example, an immunologist today is likely both a biochemist and molecular biologist, and a chemist is also a materials scientist and even an engineer.  Breaking through the artificial walls of conventional disciplinary categories by the introduction of the new cross-field category aims to keep the Highly Cited Researcher list contemporary and relevant.”

    Key findings show:

    • Some 4000+ Highly Cited Researchers are named in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences.
    • The United States is home to the highest number of HCRs, with 2,639 authors. The United Kingdom boasts 546. China (mainland) is gaining fast with 482. Harvard University keeps its pole position on the list.
    • Among the 4,058 researchers named as Highly Cited in the 21 Essential Science Indicator (ESI) fields, 194, or 4.8%, appear in two ESI fields. An elite 24 researchers, hailing from North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, appear in three fields.
    • New for 2018 – approximately 2,000 additional researchers have also been identified as having exceptional performance based on high impact papers in several fields. Nations or regions with more than 40% of their Highly Cited Researchers selected in the cross-field category are Sweden (53%), Austria (53%), Singapore (47%), Denmark (47%), China (43%) and South Korea (42%).
    • This year’s list continues to recognize researchers whose citation records position them in the highest ranks of influence and impact: it includes 17 Nobel laureates, including two announced this year: James P. Allison, Physiology or Medicine, and William D. Nordhaus, Economic Sciences. Also included are 56 Clarivate Analytics Citation Laureates – individuals who, through citation analysis, we have identified as researchers ‘of Nobel class’ and potential Nobel Prize recipients.
    • Australian research institutes continue to impress; the number of researchers recognized as Highly Cited has more than doubled in four years, from 80 in 2014 to 170 in 2018, among those selected in one or more of the 21 fields. Australian research institutions appear to have recruited a significant number of HCRs since 2014 as well as increasing their number of homegrown HCRs.
    • China (mainland) continues to march its way up the list and has overtaken Germany to reach the third spot on the top 10 country/region list.
    • Governmental research institutions also feature prominently with the US National Institutes of Health, the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research, appearing second in the list of Highly Cited Researchers. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Society also both feature in the top 10.
    • The Highly Cited Researchers represent more than 60 nations, but more than 80% of them are from the 10 nations listed in the table below and 70% from the first five – a remarkable concentration of top talent.


    Top 10 lists from 2018 HCR
    Countries/regions with no. of HCRs represented   Institutions with no. of HCRs represented
    United States (2639) 1 Harvard University, USA  (186)
    United Kingdom (546) 2 National Institutes of Health –  (NIH),  USA (148)
    Mainland China (482) 3 Stanford University, USA (100)
    Germany (356) 4 Chinese Academy of Sciences, China  (99)
    Australia (245) 5 Max Planck Society, Germany (76)
    The Netherlands (189) 6 University of California Berkeley, USA (64)
    Canada (166) 7 University of Oxford, UK (59)
    France (157) 8 University of Cambridge, UK  (53)
    Switzerland (133) 9 Washington University in St Louis, USA (51)
    Spain (115) 10 University California Los Angeles – (UCLA), USA  (47)


    Annette Thomas, CEO of the Scientific & Academic Research group explained: “The advancement of scientific endeavor represents a critical activity for individual research institutions and entire nations. The Highly Cited Researchers 2018  list helps to identify the researchers who are having the greatest impact on the research community as measured by the rate at which their work is being cited by others and that contributes so greatly to extending the frontier and gaining knowledge and innovations for society – contributions that make the world healthier, safer, richer, and more sustainable.”

    The methodology that determines the who’s who of high-impact researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute of Scientific Information at Clarivate Analytics. It uses Essential Science Indicators, a unique compilation of science performance metrics and trend data based on scholarly paper publication counts and citation data from the Web of Science, the premier web-based environment of scientific and scholarly research literature totaling over 33,000 journals. Read our methodology here.

    The 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary can be found at