Clarivate and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Release Annual Joint Report to Identify 165 Research Fronts
In the report, “Research Fronts” are defined when scientists undertake the fundamental scholarly act of citing one another’s work, reflecting a specific commonality in their research – sometimes experimental data, or a method, a concept or hypothesis. Research Fronts are discovered by tracking the world’s most significant scientific and scholarly literature and the patterns and groupings of how papers are cited – in particular, clusters of papers that are frequently cited together over a five-year period. A Research Front is then formed when such a group of highly cited papers attains a certain level of activity and coherence.
For the report, experts used the Clarivate Essential Science Indicators (ESI) database which is built on the foundation of the Web of Science index, to conduct co-citation analysis. The 2022 report starts with 12,610 Research Fronts in the ESI from 2016 to 2021 and aims to discover which Research Fronts were most active or developing most rapidly.
Research Fronts offer a unique vantage point from which to watch science unfold – not relying on the possibly subjective judgments of an indexer or cataloguer, but instead on the cognitive and social connections that scientists themselves forge when citing one another’s work. Analysis of the associated citing papers also provides a tool for unveiling the latest progress and the evolving direction of scientific fields.
This year’s report identified 165 Research Fronts, including 110 ‘hot’ and 55 ‘emerging’ fronts spanning in 11 broad areas. As with last year, more than one third of the Research Fronts identified this year are related to COVID-19, such as ‘side effects and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against variants’. Several Research Fronts well reflected the research fields of Nobel Prize recipients in the recent years, such as ‘the properties of GW190814’s secondary component with 2.6 solar mass’. Experts at CAS analyzed and interpreted all the Research Fronts to further highlight 32 key Research Fronts and one key Research Front group.
“It has truly been a privilege for us to work with the Chinese Academy of Sciences on this important report since 2014. Identification of these significant research specialties provides a distinct advantage for those who seek to monitor, support and advance the conduct of the research, often in the face of finite resources,” said Steen Lomholt-Thomsen, Chief Revenue Officer, Clarivate. “At Clarivate, our vision is to improve the way the world creates, protects and advances innovation. We look forward to continuing working in partnership with global research organizations to advance the world of sciences.”
Gao Hongjun, Vice President of CAS said: “The world is facing unprecedented changes and a new round of revolution in science and technology and transformation in industries. We need to strengthen collaboration to address to the key global issues. The Chinese Academy of Sciences will enhance its role as a national strategic science and technology force and high-level think tank, focus on strategic research, and better support China’s objectives in improving its science and technology levels continually.”
In conjunction with the Research Fronts 2022 report, Clarivate and CAS also published 2022 Research Fronts: Active Fields, Leading Countries to examine and compare national performance across the 165 Research Fronts. It reveals that the US remains the leading nation for research in 11 areas of sciences and social sciences. The gap between the US and China has been reduced. Other top 10 countries in terms of performance in these Research Fronts are UK, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Spain, Canada, and Switzerland.