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The world’s hottest researchers

Posted by , on 2 April 2010

A few weeks ago, Thomson Reuters selected the world’s hottest researchers. Their measurement of “hotness” is how often an author’s recent papers were cited by other researchers during 2009. At the top of the list is Rudolf Jaenisch of MIT, who authored 14 of those “hot papers”. The top institute on the list is the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, which has four researchers in the field of genetics and genomics represented in the top 12. Most “hot” scientists are based in the US, according to this list, but researchers from the UK, The Netherlands, China, and Japan also made the cut.

See the full list on Thompson Reuters’ website. What do you think of the ranking of researchers by citation scores as a measure of “hotness”?

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2 thoughts on “The world’s hottest researchers”

  1. What I hate most is the sentiment of people who say that they don’t believe in citations, but next sentence say that so-and-so hasn’t published enough in “high impact journals”.
    I think that the number of citations to a particular paper do give a reasonable measure of its impact and therefore importance, at least in terms of what academic researchers usually value.
    But the “impact factor” of a journal is a mean, not a median, thus hugely distorted by the skewed distribution. And, it only counts two years, not the 10 or more years I like to see as evidence of real influence.
    So to me, the hot people are those who produced papers with high, long term, impact, and I think this can be measured at least to some extent by citations. The proportion of papers highly cited because they are wrong, or for some other inappropriate reason, is very small.

  2. We should just ask Paris Hilton to pick and pronounce: “That’s hot”.

    But I agree with Jonathan that the metrics are not particularly useful, so this is to be taken with a grain of salt, and really doesn’t change anything for anyone I wouldn’t think.

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