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Northwestern Faculty Again Among World’s Most-Cited Thought Leaders

Latest Clarivate Analytics survey highlights University’s research eminence and influence, including cross-disciplinary strengths

By Matt Golosinski

This year, 32 faculty members affiliated with Northwestern University have ranked among the most-cited researchers on the planet, according to an annual list released by the Web of Science Group within Clarivate Analytics, a global data firm.

The Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list identifies scientists and social scientists who have exerted significant influence through scholarly papers cited by their peers over the past 10 years. These papers are defined as ranking in the top 1 percent by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science, which provides insights and analytics to diverse stakeholders affiliated with a range of research institutions. Some 6,200 researchers worldwide were named Highly Cited this year, with about 3,700 in specific fields and another 2,500 for their “cross-field” performance. This interdisciplinary distinction was introduced in 2018 to identify influential scholars — including younger researchers — whose work straddles multiple knowledge domains.

Northwestern’s representation on the list includes 11 scientists recognized for cross-field expertise and for exerting an “outsized influence across several fields.”

The HCR list counts individuals with both primary and secondary Northwestern affiliations and highlights them for their outstanding research performance, determined by production of multiple highly cited papers for field and year within 21 fields identified using data derived from the Essential Science Indicators database, which reveals emerging science trends as well as influential researchers, institutions, papers, and journals. The current list takes into account papers published and cited between 2008 and 2018. Clarivate Analytics estimates that just 1 in 1,000 researchers achieve designation as highly cited, making these individuals truly exemplary on the global stage.

Among Northwestern’s HCR faculty, three scientists were further recognized as “exceptional” highly cited researchers, appearing in multiple categories and elevating them to the top 5 percent of the Clarivate list. They are Yonggang Huang (materials science and cross-field), Mercouri Kanatzidis (materials science and chemistry), and Tobin Marks (materials science and chemistry).

“Publication in prestigious journals is one way our faculty members shape research fields and share their knowledge, which provides innovations that solve important challenges, improve health, and benefit society,” said Interim Vice President for Research Milan Mrksich.

Mrksich also noted other important measures of research impact and eminence, ranging from Northwestern’s recent record levels of sponsored funding to breakthrough biomedical efforts, such as diagnostic and therapeutic research, including those associated with clinical trials. Similarly, he said the University’s broad strengths across all schools make Northwestern an environment where bold discovery of all kinds can thrive. “What’s especially exciting is how we continue to create research impact by bridging disciplines through collaborations across the entire institution,” said Mrksich. “The intersection of medicine and engineering is one such instance, and there are many other examples where our faculty members are bringing ideas from multiple fields together to explore new possibilities.”

In fact, included on the 2008-2018 Clarivate list are several faculty members who are affiliated with Northwestern’s University Research Institutes and Centers, knowledge hubs that harness talent from across the University to pursue discovery at the intersection of various fields.

The full list of Northwestern faculty recognized by Clarivate for their citation impact this year are:

  • Robert Bonow, medicine: cardiology
  • David Cella, medical social sciences
  • Navdeep Chandel, medicine: pulmonary
  • Robert Chang, materials science and engineering
  • Lin C. Chen, chemistry
  • Vinayak Dravid, materials science and engineering
  • Antonio Facchetti, chemistry
  • Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere, physics and astronomy
  • Omar Farha, chemistry
  • Mihai Gheorghiade, medicine: cardiology
  • Mark Hersam, materials science and engineering
  • Jiaxing Huang, materials science and engineering
  • Yonggang Huang, civil and environmental engineering
  • Joseph Hupp, chemistry
  • Mercouri Kanatzidis, chemistry
  • Donald Lloyd-Jones, preventive medicine
  • Tobin Marks, chemistry
  • Chad Mirkin, chemistry
  • SonBinh Nguyen, chemistry
  • John Rogers, materials science and engineering
  • Amy A. Sarjeant, chemistry (now at Bristol-Myers Squibb)
  • George Schatz, chemistry
  • Randall Snurr, chemical and biological engineering
  • Jeffrey Snyder, materials science and engineering
  • Tze-Bin Song, chemistry
  • Jeffrey A. Sosman, medicine: hematology and oncology
  • Fraser Stoddart, chemistry
  • Constantinos C. Stoumpos, materials science and engineering
  • Samuel Stupp, materials science and engineering
  • Chris Wolverton, materials science and engineering
  • Clyde Yancy, medicine: cardiology
  • Li-Dong Zhao, materials science and engineering (now at Beihang University)