Clarivate Analytics Reveals Annual Forecast of Future Nobel Prize Recipients

Clarivate Analytics Reveals Annual Forecast of Future Nobel Prize Recipients

Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to enable researchers to accelerate discovery, today named 17 world-class researchers as Citation Laureates – researchers whose work is deemed to be, ‘of Nobel stature’, as attested by markedly high citation tallies recorded in the Web of Science citation index.

Each year since 2002, analysts at Clarivate Analytics have drawn on Web of Science publication and citation data to identify influential researchers in the research areas recognized by Nobel Prizes: Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Economics. Again this year, individuals whose research reports have been cited at high frequency – typically in the top .01% – and whose contributions to science has been transformative, even revolutionary, have been selected to join the hall of Citation Laureates.

On October 1st, 2018, the Nobel Assembly will vote to confer sciences’ highest honor and whilst this annual rite inspires worldwide speculation, Clarivate Analytics is the only organization to use quantitative data to make annual forecasts of potential Nobel Prize recipients. To date, 46 Citation Laureates have gone on to receive a Nobel Prize, 27 within two years of being listed.

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Authors of extremely highly cited papers (to be cited 2,000 times or more is a rarity indeed) are usually members of their national academies of sciences, hold high appointments in universities and other research institutes, or have received many top international prizes in their fields. They often go on to receive Nobel honors. While peer review remains the principal method to recognize research excellence, a parallel approach of appraising the citation record often provides important corroborating evidence to supplement peer review.

This year 11 of the 17 honorees are based at leading North American academic institutions; others come from the UK, FranceGermanySpainJapan and South Korea. Two of the 17 are women.

The 2018 Citation Laureates are:

Physiology or Medicine

Napoleone Ferrara, University of California, San Diego, CA, for the discovery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a key regulator of angiogenesis, the process in which new blood vessels are formed, both in healthy tissue and in cancerous cells. Ferrera’s work has led to the development of drugs that inhibit blood-vessel growth in cancer and in blinding eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration.

Minoru Kanehisa, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, for contributions to bioinformatics, specifically for his development of the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). This database of protein pathways involved in gene expression allows genomicists and other researchers to collect, compare, and interpret data on cellular processes – for example, those that underlie disease.

Solomon H. Snyder, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, for his identification of receptors for many neurotransmitters and psychotropic agents, including brain receptors associated with opiates. His insights have been applied in the development of many common prescription drugs, such as compounds for pain control.


David Awschalom, University of Chicago, IL, and Arthur C. Gossard, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, for observation of the spin Hall effect in semiconductors. This insight into how electrons behave under the influence of magnetic fields promises application in many areas, including quantum computing.

Sandra M. Faber, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, for pioneering methods to determine the age, size and distance of galaxies and for other contributions to cosmology, including work on the “cold dark matter” believed to constitute the universe’s “missing” matter.

Yury Gogotsi, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Rodney S. Ruoff, IBS CMCM Center and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea, and Patrice Simon, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III – CNRS, Toulouse, France, for discoveries advancing the understanding and development of carbon-based materials including for capacitive energy storage and understanding the mechanisms of operation of supercapacitors.


Eric N. Jacobsen, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, for contributions to catalytic reactions for organic synthesis, especially for the development of Jacobsen epoxidation.

George M. Sheldrick, Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen, for his enormous influence in structural crystallography through the introduction and maintenance of the SHELX system of computer programs.

JoAnne Stubbe, MIT, Cambridge, MA, for her discovery that ribonucleotide reductases transform ribonucleotides into deoxyribonucleotides by a free-radical mechanism. These deoxyribonucleotides, in turn, are fundamental to the synthesis and repair of DNA.


Manuel Arellano, CEMFI, Madrid, Spain, and Stephen R. Bond, Oxford University, UK, for contributions to panel data analysis, especially the Arellano-Bond estimator. This method exploits time patterns in panel data to estimate the economic response to a change in a policy or other variable, while controlling for permanent unobserved confounding variation.

Wesley M. Cohen, Duke University, Durham, NC, and Daniel A. Levinthal, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, for their introduction and development of the concept of absorptive capacity (i.e., the ability of firms to evaluate, assimilate, and apply external knowledge) and its contribution to advancing our understanding of the innovative performance of firms, industries and nations.

David M. Kreps, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, for contributions to dynamic economic phenomena, in choice theory, finance, game theory, and organization theory.

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David Pendlebury, Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate Analytics said:  “Science not only gives rise to new technologies but depends on them too. This year we are naming as Citation Laureates two scientists who have helped fellow researchers significantly. They have made an impact beyond what any one person or team could do alone. Congratulations to Professor Minoru Kanehisa and Professor George Sheldrick for providing the research community with KEGG and SHELX, respectively, which provide data and software that have accelerated discovery for many. The importance of their contributions is reflected in the citation record – both have garnered tens of thousands of citations. While past Nobel Prizes have highlighted methods and tools with revolutionary impact, the importance of databases and software has yet to be acknowledged. Our citation data reveal the enormous influence and impact of this type of scientific contribution. We are making an observation, but perhaps we are also making a suggestion that research achievement comes in many forms today and should not be overlooked.”

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