National performance in immunology

July 7, 2011

This table ranks national performance in immunology based on highly cited papers published during the period 2000 through 2010, among those nations that fielded at least 100 such papers. Three rankings are offered: by number of highly cited papers, by citations to highly cited papers, and by citations per highly cited paper. Highly cited papers are defined in the Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators database, from which these statistics derive, as ranking in the top 1 per cent by citations for their field and year of publication. Some 2,797 papers in immunology were identified as highly cited during the 11-year period, and these were cited a total of 695,987 times, for an average of 238.83. Thus only the top two nations ranked by citation impact – Japan and the US – surpassed the average score for such influential reports.

Japan's performance in immunology is notable. Although it holds only a 7 per cent world share in the field, its citation impact is some 10 per cent above the world average. That is good for a fourth-place ranking in a survey of all immunology papers. Japan follows the US at 30 per cent above average; Switzerland at 28 per cent above average; and the UK at 20 per cent above average. But when only highly cited papers are surveyed, Japan jumps to the top spot in impact. Much of the explanation for this can be traced to the work of Shizuo Akira and his colleagues at Osaka University, whose work focuses on innate immunity and toll-like receptors. Akira published 83 highly cited papers, the highest number during the period, and some 31 per cent of all Japanese highly cited papers in immunology. The researcher with the next highest number of highly cited papers in immunology is Richard A. Flavell of Yale University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who published 39.

Papers in immunology were defined as those published in discipline-specific journals indexed in Thomson Reuters' Web of Science database. Papers published in multidisciplinary journals such as Science and Nature that could be identified as related to immunology were also included in this analysis.

For more information on Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators, see

National performance in immunology
Data provided by Thomson Reuters from its Essential Science Indicators, 2000-10
Top countries by number of highly cited papersTop countries by citations to highly cited papersTop countries by citations per highly cited paper
 CountryHighly cited papers CountryCitations to highly cited papers CountryCitations per highly cited paper
9Australia1309Australia25,4509The Netherlands194.23
10The Netherlands12510The Netherlands24,910Canada176.91

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