NMBU's professor Douglas Sheil has been selected as a highly cited researcher for 2019 by the Web of Science. The listing is based on articles published and cited during 2008-2018, and is intended to recognize “researchers with broad community influence”, the organization says.
Citation counts represent how often a particular scientific paper has been cited by researchers in other scientific publications. It can be used to measure the influence and importance of a scientist’s work.
Tropical ecology and water
Sheil is an ecologist focusing on tropical forests, although some of his recent work has focused on climate and water availability. He earned this distinction by contributing to papers designated as “highly cited papers,” ranking among the top 1% most cited for his subject field and year of publication.
“It is flattering being listed among such famous names and publications,” Sheil comments.
Appreciation for the lesser cited
“However, it is important to note that there is no universally agreed method of identifying what constitutes valuable or exceptional research performance. We tend to focus too much on things that can be readily counted, like citations, and too little on intangible values that would require us to read and judge for ourselves.”
“I would like to profess my appreciation for the lesser cited works of science, such as the taxonomic works that we rely on to document our planet’s remarkable diversity. We need that.”
“Being cited is not a goal in itself. Many worthwhile articles, indeed many of the best – at least in my view – are seldom cited.”
When asked about some selected highlights from his publishing list, Sheil picked these three articles:
- Forests, atmospheric water and an uncertain future: the new biology of the global water cycle (Forest Ecosystems, 2018)
- Forest loss and Borneo's climate (Environmental Research Letters, 2018)
- Does biomass growth increase in the largest trees? Flaws, fallacies and alternative analyses (Functional Ecology, 2016)