Seven Estonian scientists among the world’s most impactful researchers

According to the ranking compiled by Clarivate Analytics, a US-based company that owns and operates a collection of subscription-based services focused on scientific and academic research, seven Estonian scientists are among the world’s highly cited researchers.

The list, released on 15 November, identifies the most frequently cited researchers as determined by the extent to which their papers have supported, influenced, inspired and challenged other researchers around the globe. It identifies authors who have consistently won peer approval from international researchers in the form of high citation counts.

Among the most impactful researchers are Estonian scientists Tõnu Esko, Andres Metspalu and Markus Perola (originally from Finland) in the molecular biology and genetics category, Urmas Koljalg and Leho Tedersoo in the plant and animal science, and Martin Zobel in environment/ecology – all from the University of Tartu – and Ülo Niinemets from the Estonian University of Life Sciences, in the plant and animal science category.

In the ranking the scientists’ influence is assessed on the basis of how many research papers has the author consistently published and how much have the articles been cited. The more researchers use the author’s work and results in their own research, the more influential the author is.

The ranking includes a total of 3,300 scientists from 900 different institutions. The US fields the highest number of authors, at just over 1,650, while the UK is second with almost 350 entries. However, according to Clarivate Analytics, China is gaining fast. Already in the third place, the country had the highest increase of any nation, jumping to 237 authors.


Cover: Plant scientist Leho Tedersoo (photo by Jassu Hertsmann/EPL).

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and politics and society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter and like his page on Facebook. You can write to Silver at