The who’s who of influential researchers identifies academics who have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field(s) through the publication of multiple highly-cited papers during the last decade.
Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index. The list is compiled by bibliometric experts at Clarivate.
Exceptionally influential researcher
2021 is the fourth year in a row that NMBU professor Erik Gómez-Baggethun has made this list. Erik specialises in environmental governance at NMBU’s Department of International Environment and Development Studies. One of the main focuses of his work is evaluating the many benefits that nature provides for human health and well-being, referred to in ecospeak as ecosystem services.
“I don't take these numbers very seriously but it's nice to see that somebody actually reads your work", he told us after hearing the news.
We asked him about his most influential work. “There are two or three papers that are quite highly cited. The most highly cited of them is called The History of Ecosystem Services in economic theory and practice. It’s basically about how links between the environment and the economy have been evolving for several centuries. I’m happy that this is well-cited because I thought, as a history paper, it wouldn’t be very interesting for large audiences. But it seems to have encouraged thinking of the economic origins of some or our environmental problems”, he explains.
“Another of my most cited papers is about urban sustainability and the importance of maintaining ecosystems in urban areas, and what kind of affect this has on our well-being".
"A third is a political economy paper about the commodification of nature, where I problematize the use of monetary valuation of nature as a strategy for conservation. I make the case that such commodification will be counterproductive in the long term”, he says.
You are fairly prolific in the volume and standard of academic publications you produce. How do you do it? Any tips?
“I would highlight a combination of factors. First is passion for what I do, which has practical implications because you’re willing to put more time in. Networks are important - to be in touch with people that stimulate you and keep you motivated to write. And, of course students. Students are always, for me, a big source of inspiration. The discussions we have in class - this is where I get energy for my work”, says Gómez-Baggethun.
This year’s Clarivate Most Cited list includes 24 Nobel laureates, including five announced this year. Also included are 77 Citation Laureates - that is, individuals recognized through citation analysis as potential Nobel Prize recipients.
“It is increasingly important for nations and institutions to recognize and support the exceptional researchers who are driving the expansion of the world’s knowledge” said David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate.
“This list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers” he adds. “The research they have contributed is fuelling the innovation, sustainability, health and security that is key for our society’s future.”