UW-Madison News (Oct. 5, 2009) – A recent assessment of the research impact of scientists at more than 4,000 universities around the world ranked those at the University of Wisconsin-Madison No. 20.
The ranking by the international information vendor Thomson Reuters relied on a common technique called citation counts. When scientists mention the existing research that they are building on, they make a “citation” to those studies. The more influence a study has in its field, the more citations it will gather. Thus, citation counts are a numerical way to assess the impact of any researcher, based on his or her publications.
The recent study goes one step further to group scientists according to their home institutions. Harvard University, as expected, was at the top of the list.
Scientists at UW-Madison accounted for 50,016 papers, which were cited 760,091 times, an average of more than 15 citations per paper.
“This documents what we’ve always known at UW-Madison,” says Martin Cadwallader, dean of the UW-Madison Graduate School. “Success breeds success on this campus, whether it’s in research or undergraduate education. Sometimes it’s hard to put numbers on influence, but among all the universities in the world, these numbers show that UW-Madison has immense impact on science and research in general.”