September 29, 2003

Salk Researchers Ranked in Top 25 of Scientific Citations Worldwide

Salk News

Salk Researchers Ranked in Top 25 of Scientific Citations Worldwide

La Jolla, CA – Two Salk Institute researchers ranked within the top 25 scientists worldwide for their work’s influence in any field, according to an organization that monitors the impact of scientific publications.

The Institute for Scientific Information, in the September/October edition of its magazine ScienceWatch, listed Professor Ronald Evans as the 10th most-cited researcher, and Professor Tony Hunter as the 22nd most-cited. The rankings evaluated the number of times the scientists’ papers were cited in other scientists’ studies over the past 20 years.

Citations are an important measure of the value of a scientists’ work and reflect the impact made by that work on scientific understanding. The ScienceWatch cover story, entitled “Twenty Years of Citation Superstars,” stated that the list covers “the true citation elite of the past two decades.”

Evans’ 442 papers published between 1983 and 2003 were cited by scientists 57,630 times, and Hunter’s 481 papers were cited 46,313 times, according to the survey. Evans’ research focuses on molecules in cells that regulate metabolism, while Hunter studies how proteins in cells become activated to carry out a wide range of cellular functions.

“This survey attempts to measure quantitatively the influence of an individual researcher’s work, and is one important way to show how the Salk Institute’s research is valued by the scientific community,” said Richard A. Murphy, president and CEO of the Salk Institute. “Ron Evans and Tony Hunter have made major contributions to our understanding of biology and human health, and this report affirms the impact of their work.”

The Institute for Scientific Information lists eight additional Salk faculty members as “highly cited” scientists from 1981 to 1999. They include Fred H. Gage, Nobel Laureate Roger Guillemin, Stephen Heinemann, Dennis O’Leary, Catherine Rivier, Paul Sawchenko, Wylie Vale and Inder Verma. “Highly cited” scientists represent the top half of one percent of all researchers worldwide.

The survey follows an announcement earlier this year that ranked the Salk among the world’s leaders in terms of total citations per paper published from the Institute, further reflecting the impact of Salk scientists on a national and international level.

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, located in La Jolla, Calif., is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life sciences, the improvement of human health and conditions, and the training of future generations of researchers. Jonas Salk, M.D., founded the institute in 1960 with a gift of land from the City of San Diego and the financial support of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

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