RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014

 
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014:
    100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES
    IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL
    SCIENCES

The National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Thomson Reuters IP & Science
The Joint Research Center of Emerging Technology Analysis

December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

       RESEARCH FRONT DATA REVEAL LINKS AMONG
       RESEARCHERS WORKING ON RELATED THREADS OF
       SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY, BUT WHOSE BACKGROUND MIGHT
       NOT SUGGEST THAT THEY BELONG TO THE SAME
       "INVISIBLE COLLEGE."

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RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

BACKGROUND
The 2013 Thomson Reuters Research Fronts            RESEARCH FRONTS SELECTION
report gained widespread attention. It identified
current key research topics and provided research   AND DATA PROVIDED
managers and policy makers with a data-driven       Research Fronts 2014 presents a total of 144
perspective on important trends and emerging        research fronts, including 100 hot and 44
fields to assist them in making strategic plans.    emerging ones. The research fronts are classified
                                                    into 10 broad research areas in the sciences and
This year, Research Fronts 2014 was undertaken      social sciences, as they were in the 2013 report.
as a collaborative project by the Joint Research    The objective was to discover which research
Center of Emerging Technology Analysis              fronts were most active or developing most
established by Thomson Reuters and the National     rapidly.
Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In this report, 100 hot research fronts and 44      The specific methodology used for identifying the
emerging ones were identified based on co-          research fronts is described as follows.
citation analysis that generated more than 9,700
research fronts in the Thomson Reuters database     HOW TO SELECT THE HOT
Essential Science Indicators (ESI).                 RESEARCH FRONTS
                                                    First, more than 9,700 research fronts in 21 ESI
METHODOLOGY AND                                     fields were classified into 10 broad research
PRESENTATION OF DATA                                areas. Research fronts assigned to each of the
The study was conducted in two parts. Thomson       10 areas were ranked by total citations and the
Reuters selected research fronts and provided       top 10 percent of the fronts in each area were
data on the core papers and citing papers of the    extracted. These research fronts were then re-
selected research fronts. Final selection of key    ranked according to the average (mean) year of
research fronts and the interpretation of these     their core papers to produce a top 10 list in each
were completed by the National Science Library,     broad area. There were 100 hot research fronts
Chinese Academy of Sciences. For the 2014           in total. These 10 fronts selected for each of 10
update, the research fronts drew on ESI data        highly aggregated, main areas of science and
from 2008 to 2013, which were obtained in March     social sciences represent the hottest of the largest
2014.                                               fronts, not necessarily the hottest research fronts
                                                    across the database (all disciplines). Due to the
                                                    different characteristics and citation behaviors in
                                                    various disciplines, some fronts are much smaller
                                                    than others in terms of number of core and citing
                                                    papers.

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RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

HOW TO SELECT THE EMERGING                               FINAL SELECTION OF KEY
RESEARCH FRONTS                                          RESEARCH FRONTS
A research front with core papers of recent vintage      CPT, an index, was designed to select key
indicates a specialty with a young foundation            research fronts. Nineteen key fronts were
that is rapidly growing. We call these "hot." To         selected from the 144 on the basis of CPT. CPT:
identify emerging specialties, extra preference,         C represents the number of citing articles, i.e.
or weight, was given to the currency of the              the amount of articles citing core papers; P the
foundation literature: only research fronts whose        number of core papers; T means the age of citing
core papers dated, on average, to the second half        articles, which is the number of citing years, from
of 2012 or more recently were considered, and            the earliest year of a citing paper to present.
then these were sorted in descending order by
                                                         CPT=((C/P)/ T)
their total citations. There were 44 fronts whose
total citations amounted to 100 or more ( see            CPT is the ratio of the average citation impacts
appendix). As the selection was not limited              of a research front to the age/occurrence of its
to any research area, the 44 fronts are distributed      citing papers, meaning the higher the number,
unevenly in the 10 fields. For example, there are        the hotter the topic. It measures how extensive
14 research fronts in chemistry but there is none        and immediate a research front is; the degree of
in agricultural sciences.                                citation impact can also be seen from it. It takes
                                                         the publication years of citing papers into account
Based on the above two methods, the report
                                                         and demonstrates the trend and extent of
presents the top 10 hot fronts in 10 broad areas
                                                         attention on certain research fronts across years.
(in total 100 fronts) and 44 emerging ones.
                                                         Given the condition that a particular research
FINAL SELECTION AND                                      front was cited continuously:
INTERPRETATION OF KEY                                    When P as well as T is equal in two fronts, the
RESEARCH FRONTS                                          bigger C, the bigger CPT, indicates broader
                                                         citation influence of the research front with bigger
On the basis of 144 research fronts provided
                                                         C.
by Thomson Reuters, analysts at the National
Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences,            When C as well as P is equal in two fronts, the
conducted a detailed analysis and interpretation         smaller T, the bigger CPT, indicates the hotter
to highlight 19 research fronts of particular            research front with smaller T.
interest.
                                                         When C as well as T is equal in two fronts, the
As indicated, a research front consists of a group       smaller P, the bigger CPT, indicates broader
of highly cited papers and their citing papers           citation influence of the research front with
that have frequently co-cited these so-called            smaller P.
core papers. In other words, core papers are all
highly cited papers in ESI, papers that rank in
top one percent in terms of citations in the same
ESI field and in the same publication year. Since
the authors, institutions and countries/territories
listed on the core papers have made significant
contributions in the particular specialty, a
tabulation of these appears in the analysis of the
research fronts.
By reading the full text of the citing articles,
greater precision can be obtained in specifying
the topic of the research front, especially in terms
of its recent or leading edge. In this case, it is not
necessary that the citing papers are themselves
highly cited.

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RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

INTERPRETATION OF KEY
RESEARCH FRONTS
INTERPRETATION OF HOT
RESEARCH FRONTS
The first table under each discipline section in                                distribution of citing articles has been declining
the report lists 10 top-ranked fronts for each of                               since 2010. On further exploration, two topics
the 10 broad areas. A particular front in each                                  were found within this front: “Intensive insulin
field, selected by the CPT index, is highlighted,                               therapy in critically ill patients” and “Fluid
noted in gray in the table. Key data are also                                   resuscitation with hydroxyethyl starch in critically
shown, such as the number of core papers, total                                 ill patients.” In the topic of “Intensive insulin
citations and the average publication year of the                               therapy in critically ill patients,” the Leuven
core papers. Average publication year of the core                               scheme of intensive insulin therapy suggested
papers ranged from 2008 to 20131. For example,                                  in 2001 was put in doubt by results of the NICE-
if the average publication year of a research front                             SUGAR study published in 2009, which sparked
is 2009.6, the core papers were published, as an                                a fierce debate about the accepted therapy. The
average, around August 2009.                                                    NICE-SUGAR paper has been cited 1,171 times.
A bubble diagram shows the age distribution of                                  On Feb 15, 2011, clinical guidelines of intensive
the citing articles in the 10 research fronts listed                            insulin therapy for inpatients issued by American
for each broad field. Hot fronts were marked                                    College of Physicians (ACP) were published in
in a red bubble. Size represents the amount of                                  Annals of Internal Medicine, and this opposed
citing papers per year. In this figure, hot fronts                              “the utility of intensive insulin therapy program
can be easily seen particularly when a large                                    will control SICU/MICU patients’ blood sugar
amount of citing papers appear in only a few                                    to normal levels.” The guideline also became
publication years (i.e. the first two conditions                                one of core papers in the front. In fact, the ACP
in Final Selection criteria). But other data must                               guidelines had the effect of stopping the wrong
be considered when the number of core papers                                    clinical treatment. After that, no papers related
(“P”) is small. For example, the topic “The                                     to intensive insulin therapy came into the core
application of regional climate change models in                                papers of this research front. This is the reason
regional climate change projections of terrestrial                              why a declining trend in citing papers occurs after
precipitation and temperature, as well as bias                                  2010 in Figure 4.
and error correction of the models” was selected                                The second and third table in each research
as a key research front in geosciences. As shown                                area presents data about countries, institutions
in Figure 3, its citing year started from 2007,                                 and authors of the core papers, which reveals
the same as other research fronts in the same                                   those making the greatest contributions in the
discipline, and its bubble size or the number                                   foundation literature of the hot fronts. Countries
of citing papers is not the biggest in the area.                                and institutions of the citing papers are also
But because of the fewer core papers, the CPT                                   analyzed in the fourth table in each discipline
index of this particular front is the biggest one in                            section.
geosciences and thus it was selected as the key
research front for further analysis.                                            INTERPRETATION OF EMERGING
The bubble diagram also helps the reader                                        FRONTS
understand the development of a research                                        The emerging fronts identified were generally
front. Generally speaking, the amount of citing                                 small in terms of number of core and citing
articles in most fronts will grow with time. But                                papers. Information professionals examined and
an exception was observed in one front in clinical                              interpreted the data in these fronts to better
medicine: “Intensive insulin therapy and fluid                                  understand their content and describe their very
resuscitation with hydroxyethyl starch in critically                            recent development.
ill patients.” It is shown in Figure 4 that the age

1
    Note: at times a publication year 2007 paper may be included because the year of its indexing, or its database year, was 2008.              5
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

AGRICULTURAL, PLANT AND ANIMAL SCIENCES
HOT RESEARCH FRONT
DEVELOPMENTAL TREND OF THE TOP 10 RESEARCH FRONTS IN
AGRICULTURAL, PLANT AND ANIMAL SCIENCES

    Table 1: Top 10 research fronts in agricultural, plant and animal sciences

     Rank                Research Fronts (changed)               Core Papers      Citations     Mean Year of Core Papers

                Statistics of foodborne disease in the USA and
       1                                                             6               873                  2011.7
                evaluation of economic loss

       2        Regulation of circadian clock in Arabidopsis         20              998                  2011.1

       3        Auxin biosynthesis and regulation                    18              855                   2011

                Phylogenetic analysis of endophytic fungal
       4                                                             31             1150                  2010.8
                species in plant

                Identification, growth and toxin production of
       5                                                             18              973                  2010.8
                Aspergillus niger

       6        Genetic theory of speciation                         12             1061                  2010.7

       7        Organelles RNA editing                               27             1473                  2010.6

                Analysis of rhizosphere fungal communities
       8                                                             18             1040                  2010.6
                using DNA sequencing

                C-4 photosynthesis evolution and the effect of
       9                                                             22              1171                 2010.5
                CO2 concentration on mesophyll conductance

                Biological control of invasive crop pest using
       10                                                            14              953                  2010.5
                predators

    Figure 1: Citing articles for the top 10 research fronts in agricultural, plant and animal sciences

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RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

HOT RESEARCH FRONT –                                          ANALYSIS OF THE ACTIVE
“STATISTICS OF FOODBORNE                                      STATUS OF COUNTRIES AND
DISEASE IN THE USA AND                                        INSTITUTIONS
EVALUATION OF ECONOMIC                                        The countries that have produced the six core
LOSS”                                                         papers that have contributed to the “Statistics of
                                                              foodborne diseases in the USA and evaluation of
Foodborne disease refers to infection or                      economic loss” are the USA and Denmark (Table
intoxication caused by pathogenic factors                     2), with researchers from the USA publishing
entering into human bodies through food. Most                 five papers and from Denmark publishing one
foodborne diseases are caused by bacteria,                    paper. The influential institutions in this key
viruses, helminthes, and fungi. According to                  research front include the Colorado School
epidemiological survey data, the incidence of                 of Public Health, Centres for Disease Control
foodborne diseases in the world has continued to              and Prevention, National Bureau of Economic
increase in the past decade, and a severe outbreak            Research, and the University of Florida, which
trend has been observed. Currently, only a limited            are all in the USA. Thus, the USA has been
number of countries in the world have established             influential in directing this research, and this
annual reporting systems for foodborne disease,               influence has benefited, to a certain extent, from
including the USA, UK, Canada, and Japan, This                the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring
important front of science mainly studies the                 system for foodborne disease in the USA.
reasons for the occurrence of foodborne diseases,
methods for monitoring and assessing such
diseases, the effect of pathogens in food supply
chains on public health in the USA, and economic
burdens caused by major foodborne diseases.

 Table 2: Top countries and institutions producing the six core papers in the research front “Statistics of
 foodborne disease in the USA and evaluation of economic loss”

 Country                 Core                   Institution                                       Core
             Country              Proportion                             Institution                      Proportion
 Ranking                Papers                   Ranking                                         Papers
                                                               Colorado School of Public
    1         USA          5         83.3%           1                                              2         33.3%
                                                               Health (USA)
                                                               Centers for Disease Control &
    2       Denmark        1         16.7%           1                                              2         33.3%
                                                               Prevention (USA)
                                                               Economic Research Service,
                                                     1                                              2         33.3%
                                                               USDA (USA)
                                                     1         University of Florida (USA)          2         33.3%
                                                     5         Ohio State University (USA)          1         16.7%
                                                     5         Resources for the Future (USA)       1         16.7%
                                                               Technical University of
                                                     5                                              1         16.7%
                                                               Denmark (Denmark)

                                                                                                                       7
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

ANALYSIS OF THE ACTIVE
STATUS OF AUTHORS
In the scientific front “Statistics of foodborne              core papers, which were published in 2011 in the
diseases in the USA and evaluation of economic                same issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. In
loss," the top influential authors include                    addition, these papers have been cited more than
researchers from the Colorado School of Public                any other core papers. One of Scallan's papers
Health, University of Florida, Technical University           used data from surveillance and other sources
of Denmark, Economic Research Service of the                  to evaluate the conditions of 31 major pathogens
U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Ohio State                of foodborne disease that occurred in the USA
University (Table 3). The contributions from                  and performed a modification of the evaluation
Elaine Scallan, an assistant professor at the                 method. This paper has been cited 694 times.
Colorado School of Public Health, have been the               Another of Scallan's papers used data from
most prominent. Her major research interests                  surveys, hospital records, and death certificates to
include foodborne and enteric disease metrics,                evaluate the conditions that produced foodborne
foodborne disease attributions and risk factors,              diseases caused by unspecified agents not
foodborne disease surveillance and epidemiology,              included in the above 31 major pathogens. This
and enteric disease outbreak investigation and                paper has been cited 98 times, which is greater
response. Scallan has contributed two of the six              than the sum of the other four papers.

    Table 3: Top corresponding authors of the six core papers in the research front “Statistics of foodborne disease
    in the USA and evaluation of economic loss”

                                                                                                             Core
    Ranking          Reprint Author                    Reprint Institution                   Country
                                                                                                            Papers

         1              Scallan, E          Colorado School of Public Health                   USA             2

         2               Batz, MB           University of Florida                              USA             1

         2           Domingues, AR          Technical University of Denmark                 Denmark            1

         2             Hoffmann, S          Economic Research Service, USDA                    USA             1

         2             Scharff, RL          Ohio State University                              USA             1

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RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

ANALYSIS OF THE
DEVELOPMENTAL STATUS OF
COUNTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS
From the subsequent number of articles citing                   accounts for 13.4 percent of the total citing
these six core papers, the USA has produced the                 articles. The U.S. Department of Agriculture
greatest number of citing articles (Table 4) with               and the Food and Drug Administration have
457 publications, which accounts for 79.6 percent               produced the second and third highest number
of the total citing articles. China has produced 28             of citing articles. A comprehensive analysis of the
citing articles, which is the second highest and                core papers and citing articles that have been
accounts for 4.9 percent of the total citing articles,          published in this front shows that the USA has
followed by Canada, UK, Belgium, Netherlands,                   a strong influence on the research of “Statistics
Poland, Germany, France, and Spain. Among the                   of foodborne diseases in the USA and evaluation
top institutions with citing articles, 12 institutions          of economic loss.” Although China is not a
are in the USA, and the U.S. Centers for Disease                producing country of core papers, the amount
Control and Prevention has produced the greatest                of citing articles places the nation in a leading
number of citing articles with 77 papers, which                 position, which reflects China’s attention and
                                                                follow-up on this research front.

 Table 4: Top countries and institutions producing citing articles in the research front “Statistics of foodborne
 disease in the USA and evaluation of economic loss”

 Country                  Citing                  Institution                                       Citing
            Country                 Proportion                    Institution (all USA)                      Proportion
 Ranking                  Papers                  Ranking                                           Papers

                                                                  Centers for Disease Control &
 1          USA           457       79.6%         1                                                 77       13.4%
                                                                  Prevention

                                                                  United States Department of
 2          China         28        4.9%          2                                                 76       13.2%
                                                                  Agriculture

                                                                  U.S. Food & Drug
 3          Canada        27        4.7%          3                                                 74       12.9%
                                                                  Administration

 4          UK            23        4.0%          4               North Carolina State University   23       4.0%

 5          Belgium       12        2.1%          5               Ohio State University             22       3.8%

 6          Netherlands   12        2.1%          6               University of Arkansas            21       3.7%

                                                                  Minnesota Department of
 7          Poland        10        1.7%          7                                                 18       3.1%
                                                                  Health

 8          Germany       10        1.7%          8               University of Georgia             16       2.8%

                                                                  Colorado Department of Public
 9          France        10        1.7%          9                                                 15       2.6%
                                                                  Health & Environment

                                                                  Tennessee Department of
 10         Spain         10        1.7%          10                                                14       2.4%
                                                                  Health

                                                                  University of Tennessee
                                                  10                                                14       2.4%
                                                                  Knoxville

                                                  10              Cornell University                14       2.4%

                                                                                                                          9
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014: 100 TOP RANKED SPECIALTIES IN THE SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES - December 2014
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
HOT RESEARCH FRONT
DEVELOPMENTAL TREND OF THE TOP 10 RESEARCH FRONTS IN
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
 Table 5: Top 10 research fronts in Ecology and Environmental Sciences

                                                        Core
 Rank       Research Fronts (changed)                                 Citations     Mean Year of Core Papers
                                                        Papers

            Drought- and heat-induced tree
 1                                                      21            1889          2011.3
            mortality

            Shifting plant phenology in response
 2                                                      15            1154          2010.1
            to global change

            Effects of ocean acidification on
 3                                                      24            2186          2009.8
            marine ecosystems

            Predicting species potential
 4                                                      36            5614          2009.6
            distributions with Maxent

            Diversification rates and adaptive
 5                                                      28            2554          2009.4
            radiation

 6          Landscape genetic studies                   13            1077          2009.4

            Biochar amendment impacts
 7                                                      19            1538          2009.3
            environment

            Ecological communities of ammonia-
 8                                                      30            3865          2009.2
            oxidizing archaea and bacteria

 9          Plant-animal mutualistic networks           11            1176          2009.2

 10         Stable isotope ecology                      12            1654          2009.1

 Figure 2: Citing articles for the top 10 research fronts in ecology and environmental sciences

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RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

HOT RESEARCH FRONT
– “PREDICTING SPECIES
POTENTIAL DISTRIBUTIONS
WITH MAXENT”
Species distribution models (SDMs) primarily               1990s, the rapid development of geographic
utilize species distribution data (mainly                  information system technology and increasingly
occurrence data) and environmental data to                 improved access to remote sensing data greatly
estimate an ecological niche of species based on           increased the application capabilities of SDMs;
specific algorithms, and the results are projected         therefore, a large amount of SDMs and related
onto landscapes to reflect the preference of               software emerged.
species for habitats in the form of probabilities.
                                                           The Maxent model is an SDM that has provided
The results can explain the probability of
                                                           the most extensive applications in recent years.
species occurrence, habitat suitability, and
                                                           This model was developed by Steven J. Phillips
species abundance, and SDMs have important
                                                           et al. at the AT&T Laboratories in 2006, and it
application values for research in environmental
                                                           has been applied extensively for the design of
sciences, management of natural resources, and
                                                           species protection areas, prediction of potential
protection of biodiversity. These applications
                                                           distributions of invasive species, and simulation
include the evaluation of biodiversity, design
                                                           of species spatial distribution in response to
of nature reserves, selection of species in
                                                           climate change (see: http://archive.sciencewatch.
ecological restoration, screening of habitats for
                                                           com/ana/st/climate/09novSTClimPhilET/). The
ex situ conservation of species, assessments of
                                                           paper by Phillips et al. published in Ecological
environmental risk, management of invasive
                                                           Modelling has been cited 2,158 times to date,
species, and simulations of community and
                                                           which indicates the degree of recognition of this
ecosystem distributions; in addition, such models
                                                           model in related research fields. Of the 36 core
can predict the influence of global environmental
                                                           papers in this field, another paper published by
changes on species and ecosystems.
                                                           Phillips in 2008 has received 687 citations and
SDM research originated in early studies on the            is considered the most influential. This paper
relationship between plant communities and                 included new developments and comprehensive
environmental gradients, especially studies on             evaluations of the Maxent model.
the response curves of species to environmental
                                                           Table 6 and Table 8 summarize the countries
factors. In the 1980s, the development of
                                                           and institutions that have provided the most
computer technology and statistical sciences
                                                           important contributions to the core papers and
gradually shifted SDM research to studies on
                                                           citing articles and show that the USA has been
improving their prediction capabilities. After the
                                                           the most active country in the research front

 Table 6: Top countries and institutions producing the 36 core papers in the research front “Predicting species
 potential distributions with Maxent”

 Country                   Core                    Institution                               Core
            Country                  Proportion                  Institution                          Proportion
 Ranking                   Papers                  Ranking                                   papers

                                                                 University of Kansas
 1          USA            28        77.8%         1                                         11       30.6%
                                                                 (USA)

                                                                 University of Lausanne
 2          Australia      10        27.8%         2                                         6        16.7%
                                                                 (Switzerland)

                                                                 University of Melbourne
 3          Switzerland    7         19.4%         3                                         5        13.9%
                                                                 (Australia)

 4          Spain          5         13.9%         4             AT&T Labs (USA)             4        11.1%

            New
 5                         4         11.1%         4             SUNY Stony Brook (USA)      4        11.1%
            Zealand

                                                   4             CSIC (SPAIN)                4        11.1%

                                                                                                                   11
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

“PREDICTING SPECIES
POTENTIAL DISTRIBUTIONS
WITH MAXENT.”
The USA has produced 28 of the 36 core papers,                Jane Elith of the University of Melbourne,
which account for 77.8 percent, and Australia,                Australia is also active in the field, and her
Switzerland, Spain, and New Zealand have                      research interests involve simulating biodiversity
each contributed 10, 7, 5, and 4 core papers,                 using quantitative methods. She is currently
respectively.                                                 studying the application of climate change
                                                              and invasive species. From 2009-2011, the
The University of Kansas (USA) has produced
                                                              University of Melbourne contributed five core
the greatest number of both core papers and
                                                              papers that were all authored or co-authored by
citing articles, contributing 30.6 percent of the
                                                              Elith. During these three years, she was listed
core papers (11 papers) and 83 citing articles. A.
                                                              as a corresponding author on one paper in each
Townsend Peterson of the Biodiversity Institute
                                                              year that it was selected as a core paper. The
of the University of Kansas is considered the
                                                              frequency at which these three core papers
leading researcher in this field. His studies have
                                                              have been cited ranks these first among the
focused on ecological niche models, and Peterson
                                                              other papers published in the same year. One
has co-authored seven core papers and is the
                                                              of Elith's papers, which was published in 2009,
corresponding author of four papers. In addition,
                                                              has received 483 citations, which is the second
Peterson is the corresponding author with the
                                                              highest number of citations after the paper
most citing articles at 16 papers (Table 7).
                                                              published by Phillips in 2008.
                                                              Jorge M. Lobo of the Museo Nacional de
                                                              Ciencias Naturales and Consejo Superior de
                                                              Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) of Spain has
                                                              published three core papers (Table 3). Compared
                                                              to other papers in the same year, his papers have
                                                              high frequency of citations, especially the paper
                                                              “AUC: a misleading measure of the performance
                                                              of predictive distribution models,” which has
                                                              received extensive attention and 401 citations.

     Table 7: Top corresponding authors of the 36 core papers in the research front “Predicting species potential
     distributions with Maxent”

                                                                                                            Core
      Ranking          Reprint Author                Reprint Institution                 Country
                                                                                                           Papers

           1            Peterson, AT         University of Kansas                          USA                4

           2                Elith, J         University of Melbourne                    Australia             3

           3              Lobo, JM           CSIC                                         Spain               3

12
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

The distribution of countries that have produced              Among the top institutions with the most citing
articles citing the 36 core papers in this front              articles, the CSIC of Spain and the University
(Table 8) shows that the top countries are divided            of Kansas of the USA are the top institutions
into three tiers. The first tier only includes the            with 95 and 83 citing articles, respectively. The
USA, which has 768 citing articles and accounts               third place, the Commonwealth Scientific and
for 41.2 percent of the total, which is 3.3 times             Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of
more than that of the UK, which ranks second.                 Australia, has contributed 57 citing articles, and
The UK, Australia, Spain, and Germany each have               the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Lausanne
198-230 citing articles, and they form the second             of Switzerland, and University of Melbourne of
tier. France, Switzerland, Portugal, and Brazil               Australia have each produced approximately
each have 97-142 citing articles, forming the third           50 citing articles. The Chinese Academy of
tier.                                                         Sciences ranks seventh of the top institutions in
                                                              citing articles at 44, indicating that the Chinese
                                                              Academy of Sciences has a significant interest in
                                                              this research front (Table 8).

 Table 8: Top countries and institutions producing citing articles in the research front “Predicting species
 potential distributions with Maxent”

 Country                 Citing                 Institution                                             Citing
           Country                Proportion                   Institution                                       Proportion
 Ranking                 Papers                 Ranking                                                 Papers

 1         USA           768      41.2%         1              CSIC (SPAIN)                             95       5.1%

 2         UK            230      12.3%         2              University of Kansas (USA)               83       4.5%

 3         Australia     228      12.2%         3              CSIRO (Australia)                        57       3.1%

 4         Spain         210      11.3%         4              US Geophysical Survey (USA)              50       2.7%

                                                               University of Lausanne
 5         Germany       198      10.6%         5                                                       49       2.6%
                                                               (Switzerland)

 6         France        142      7.6%          6              University of Melbourne (Australia)      48       2.6%

                                                               Chinese Academy of Sciences
 7         Switzerland   125      6.7%          7                                                       44       2.4%
                                                               (China)

                                                               University of California at Berkeley
 8         Canada        104      5.6%          8                                                       41       2.2%
                                                               (USA)

                                                               University of California at Davis
 9         Portugal      99       5.3%          9                                                       40       2.1%
                                                               (USA)

 10        Brazil        97       5.2%          9              USDA (USA)                               40       2.1%

                                                9              University of Trier (Germany)            40       2.1%

                                                               National Autonomous University of
                                                9                                                       40       2.1%
                                                               Mexico (Mexico)

                                                                                                                              13
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

EMERGING RESEARCH FRONT
- “UTILIZATION OF AQUATIC
BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES
TO ASSESS THE ECOLOGICAL
STATUS OF EUROPEAN SURFACE
WATERS”
                                                       summarized 297 assessment methods from 28
On October 23, 2000, the European Parliament
                                                       countries, and the application rates of these
and European Council formulated the “EU
                                                       methods for rivers, coastal waters, lakes, and
Water Framework Directive (WFD),” which was
                                                       transitional waters were 30, 26, 25 and 19
formally implemented on December 22, 2000.
                                                       percent respectively. The implementation of the
This directive is the most important directive
                                                       EU WFD strongly supports studies on transitional
promulgated by the EU in the water resource field
                                                       waters. Three of the eight papers of this front
in recent decades. All the EU Member States and
                                                       have discussed the management and assessment
countries that are prepared to join the EU should
                                                       of ecological statuses in transitional waters in
have domestic water resource management
                                                       estuaries and coastal waters. The paper published
systems that meet the requirements of the WFD
                                                       by Mike Elliott of the University of Hull of the UK
and introduce joint participation in watershed
                                                       in 2011 on estuarine ecology and management
management.
                                                       paradigm shifts has been cited 37 times, which is
In recent years, the major task for water and          the highest number of citations among the eight
environment management in Europe is to                 core papers. Thus, the ecological and economic
implement the WFD. The overall goal of this            value of transitional waters has begun to gain
directive is for the number and quality of all water   attention.
bodies in Europe to meet the standards before
                                                       The derivation, performance, sensitivity, and
2015. Therefore, methods are required that can
                                                       inherent uncertainty of ecological quality indices
resolve many of the technical issues, including
                                                       have become a main topic in the development of
the ability to describe the characteristics of
                                                       management tools for oceans and transitional
water management districts and water bodies,
                                                       and coastal waters. This research front consists
classify and group characteristics, assess human
                                                       of eight core papers, and five of the core papers
impacts, determine developmental trends,
                                                       that were published in 2013 primarily focus
assess pressures and impacts, and formulate and
                                                       on this topic. To resolve future challenges for
evaluate action plans. In addition, the WFD also
                                                       the EU WFD, new biological indices have been
proposes comprehensive water management that
                                                       continuously proposed for assessment.
includes the participation of interested parties
and the public. The successful implementation
of the WFD requires suitable tools and models to
support the management of a variety of technical
and social issues at each stage.
In 2012, Sebastian Birk and colleagues at
the University of Duisburg-Essen of Germany
published a review paper on the utilization
of aquatic biological communities to assess
the surface waters in European countries that
have implemented the WFD. These researchers

14
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

GEOSCIENCES
HOT RESEARCH FRONT
DEVELOPMENTAL TREND OF THE TOP 10 RESEARCH
FRONTS IN GEOSCIENCES

Table 9: Top 10 research fronts in geosciences

                                                                    Core                  Mean Year of Core
Rank        Research Fronts (changed)                                        Citations
                                                                    Papers                Papers

            Source characterization, operational prediction
1           and evaluation of 2009 Redoubt and 2010                 31       1035         2011.9
            Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruptions

            The exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2)
            between the deep sea and the atmosphere
2                                                                   25       1326         2011.1
            formed global climate change during the last
            deglaciation

3           2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami                      35       2311         2010.7

4           Tectonic models of the North China Craton               34       2188         2010.5

            Greenland ice sheet dynamics-increasing rates
5                                                                   29       2533         2010.3
            of ice mass loss from Greenland outlet glaciers

            Application of regional climate models
            in the prediction of surface temperature
6                                                                   14       1086         2010.2
            and precipitation and studies on model
            optimization

7           Zircon U-Pb geochronology in southern Tibet             25       1636         2010.1

8           Global sea level change                                 42       3870         2010

9           Atmospheric aerosol nucleation and growth               33       2502         2010

            Atmospheric secondary organic aerosol
10                                                                  18       1647         2009.9
            formation from isoprene

Figure 3: Citing articles for the top 10 research fronts in geosciences

                                                                                                              15
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

HOT RESEARCH FRONT –                                            a historically rare large-scale disaster of icy rain
                                                                and snow in southern China that caused severe
“APPLICATION OF REGIONAL                                        impacts to and loss of local transportation, energy
CLIMATE MODELS IN THE                                           and electricity supplies, agriculture, ecology, and
PREDICTION OF SURFACE                                           social life. This storm provides an example of the
                                                                sensitivity and vulnerability of regional climate
TEMPERATURE AND                                                 environments to external forces.
PRECIPITATION AND STUDIES ON                                    Currently, the climate models used to describe
MODEL OPTIMIZATION”                                             climate changes can be divided into general
The assessment report2 released by the United                   circulation models (GCMs) and regional climate
Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate                      models (RCMs). GCMs can describe climate
Change in 2013 indicated that global warming                    change on a larger scale. However, they have a
is an indisputable fact. Determining global                     decreased resolution, and the average climate
and regional climate change and predicting                      and variability of temperature and precipitation at
future climate change are issues that concern                   a regional scale cannot be simulated. Therefore,
scientists, the public, and policy-makers and are               it is difficult to estimate the possible impacts of
closely associated with the formulation of long-                interannual climate variability on regional water
term socio-economic development plans in a                      resources, ecological environments, and large
country or region. Thus, the tools of “climate                  scale circulation. RCMs have higher resolution
models” have emerged. With the continuous                       and can perform detailed descriptions of complex
improvements of the Global Climate Observing                    topography and curved coastlines and provide
System and computer performance, these models                   detail features of underlying surfaces. Therefore,
are continuing to improve.                                      they can reflect climate features caused by
                                                                localized forces and have been applied extensively
Regional climate is determined by multifaceted                  in limited regional climate studies. Many areas of
factors. Large-scale influences are important;                  China are in the East Asian monsoon region, and
however, specific terrain and underlying surface                they have complex topography and underlying
features usually cause the specific variability                 surfaces and are densely populated, therefore,
in regional climate. Climate anomalies have                     these areas have some of the greatest variability
continuously occurred in recent years, and                      of climate in the world. RCMs are especially
these climate anomalies usually have regional                   important in studying climate changes in areas
characteristics. Although they are associated with              with uneven underlying surface properties that
large-scale climate changes, they may be more                   are influenced by atmospheric circulation with
closely associated with climate formation and                   different scales of variability. Surface temperature
changes on a regional scale. During mid-to late-                and precipitation are two major elements in
January and early February in 2008, there was                   the study of climate changes. Under the above

     Table 10: Top countries and institutions producing the 14 core papers in the research front “Application of regional
     climate models in the prediction of surface temperature and precipitation and studies on model optimization”

    Country                   Core                     Institution                                  Core
               Country                    Proportion                 Institution                              Proportion
    Ranking                   Papers                   Ranking                                      Papers

    1          UK             8           57.1%        1             Met Office – UK (UK)           5         35.7%

    2          Germany        6           42.9%        2             Max Planck Society (Germany)   4         28.6%

                                                                     Danish Meteorology Institute
    3          France         4           28.6%        3                                            3         21.4%
                                                                     (Denmark)

                                                                     Universidade de Lisboa
    4          Denmark        3           21.4%        3                                            3         21.4%
                                                                     (Portugal)

                                                                     Centre for Ecology and
    4          Netherlands    3           21.4%        3                                            3         21.4%
                                                                     Hydrology (UK)

    4          Portugal       3           21.4%

2
 ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml
16
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

conditions, the “Application of regional climate           models require observation data with high spatial
models in the prediction of surface temperature            and temporal resolution as the foundation. The
and precipitation and studies on model                     construction of observational capacity, including
optimization” has become an important scientific           the construction of ground observatories for
front.                                                     wind measurement and air sounding, satellites,
                                                           radar, regional grid observation databases and
ANALYSIS OF THE ACTIVE                                     optimized computational grids, require long-
STATUS OF COUNTRIES AND                                    term commitments and the accumulation of data,
                                                           which may be why emerging countries such as
INSTITUTIONS                                               China have so far experienced difficulty standing
The analysis of countries and institutions                 out in this field.
producing core papers (Table 10) in this field
showed that the performance of the UK is the               ANALYSIS OF THE ACTIVE STATUS
most prominent and has contributed eight of                OF AUTHORS
the 14 core papers. In addition, this field is not
dominated by any single country, and Germany,              Among the corresponding authors of the 14
France, Denmark, Norway, and Portugal have                 core papers in this field, 12 persons have each
provided considerable contributions. The                   contributed one core paper, whereas Claudio
percentage of countries represented in these               Piani of the Abdus Salam International Centre
core papers also shows that international                  for Theoretical Physics has published two;
collaboration in this field is common, with many           thus, different authors have provided an equal
of the core papers co-authored by researchers              share (Table 11). However, there are four authors
in multiple countries. However, the institutions           in the UK at different institutions and two
and countries producing these 14 core papers               authors in Denmark who are both at the Danish
are all in Europe, which indicates the strength            Meteorological Institute. Therefore, there are a
of European countries in RCM studies. Indeed,              large number of active corresponding authors in
the establishment and optimization of climate              this field, however, they are still concentrated in a
                                                           few countries and institutions in Europe.

 Table 11: Top corresponding authors of the 14 core papers in the research front “Application of regional climate
 models in the prediction of surface temperature and precipitation and studies on model optimization”

                                                                                                         Core
 Ranking     Reprint Author     Reprint Institution                                      Country
                                                                                                         Papers

                                Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical
 1           Piani, C                                                                    Italy           2
                                Physics

 2           Best, MJ           Met Office – UK                                          UK              1

 2           Boberg, F          Danish Meteorological Institute                          Denmark         1

 2           Christensen, JH    Danish Meteorological Institute                          Denmark         1

 2           Clark, DB          Centre for Ecology & Hydrology                           UK              1

 2           Deque, M           Meteo France                                             France          1

 2           Fowler, HJ         University of Newcastle                                  UK              1

 2           Haddeland, I       Norwegian Water Resources & Energy Directorate           Norway          1

 2           Leander, R         Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)        Netherlands     1

 2           Maraun, D          Justus Liebig University Giessen                         Germany         1

 2           Quesada, B         University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines       France          1

 2           Themessl, MJ       University of Graz                                       Austria         1

 2           Weedon, GP         NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology                      UK              1
                                                                                                                                           17
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

ANALYSIS OF THE
DEVELOPMENTAL STATUS OF
COUNTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS
A comparison between the top producing                          institutions in the top institutions producing citing
countries and institutions for citing articles, and             articles. These results reflect that RCM studies
top producing countries and institutions for core               show a trend of spreading from Europe to North
papers shows a significant difference. Although                 America and Oceania (Table 12). In the future,
the top producing countries for core papers do not              RCM studies will be developed to acquire higher
include countries outside of Europe, the country                spatial resolution, establish better regional
with the highest number of citing papers is the                 grid observation databases, and provide more
USA, with Canada and Australia ranking fifth and                accurate simulations of spatial and temporal
sixth, respectively. In addition, Australia has two             variability of ground climate processes. Thus,
                                                                this field has the potential to become a
                                                                promising research field.

 Table 12: Top countries and institutions producing citing articles in the research front “Application of regional
 climate models in the prediction of surface temperature and precipitation and studies on model optimization”

 Country                 Citing                Institution                                               Citing
           Country                Proportion                 Institution                                          Proportion
 Ranking                 Papers                Ranking                                                   Papers

 1         USA           138      22.3%        1             Max Planck Society (Germany)                37       6.0%

 2         UK            137      22.1%        2             Met Office – UK (UK)                        30       4.8%

 3         Germany       107      17.3%        3             Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK)         28       4.5%

 4         Netherlands   75       12.1%        3             CSIRO (Australia)                           28       4.5%

                                                             Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
 5         Canada        60       9.7%         5                                                         24       3.9%
                                                             Zurich (Switzerland)

                                                             Wageningen University & Research
 6         Australia     59       9.5%         6                                                         22       3.5%
                                                             Centre (Netherlands)

 7         France        56       9.0%         7             Deltares (Netherlands)                      18       2.9%

 8         Switzerland   40       6.5%         7             University of Oslo (Norway)                 18       2.9%

 9         Italy         38       6.1%         7             University of Reading (UK)                  18       2.9%

 10        Spain         32       5.2%         10            University of New South Wales (Australia)   17       2.7%

18
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

EMERGING RESEARCH FRONT –
“MODEL ANALYSIS OF NON-CO2
GREENHOUSE GASES, SUCH AS
OZONE, METHANE, AND BLACK
CARBON, AS WELL AS HYDROXYL
GROUPS AND ANTHROPOGENIC
SOURCES OF SULFUR DIOXIDE IN
THE ATMOSPHERE”
The simulation studies implemented in the              and their Role in Climate, which is a sub-project
Coupled Model Intercomparison Project have             of the World Climate Research Programme, the
provided valuable information resources for            first workshop was held in 2009 to determine
research on climate sensitivity, historical climate,   an optimized definition for the “Atmospheric
and climate predictions in the 4th assessment          Chemistry and Climate Model Intercomparison
report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate       Project” (ACCMIP). The first and second ACCMIP
Change. However, different models include              forums were held in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
completely different assumptions during the            The ACCMIP will perform extensive evaluations
simulation of radioactive forcings, including          of climate models and simulate tropospheric
assumptions on the physical process and                ozone and aerosol to fully utilize the above
atmospheric components, especially aerosols            measurement results. Under this project, studies
or gases other than CO2, which have not been           analyzing models of non-CO2 greenhouse gases
thoroughly considered. In addition, biosphere-         in the atmosphere, such as ozone, methane
related information must also be included in           and black carbon, have rapidly developed,
the climate models. Furthermore, new types             and atmospheric chemistry simulations and
of observation data related to atmospheric             observation studies on aerosols, such as hydroxyl
chemistry may also help to deepen our                  groups, and anthropogenic sources of sulfur
understanding of chemistry and climate.                dioxide, as well as their precursors, have been
                                                       promoted. Therefore, this field has become
Under the support of the International Global
                                                       an emerging research front in the field of
Atmospheric Chemistry project, which is a sub-
                                                       geosciences. At a country scale, the response of
project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere
                                                       the USA to this project has been the greatest, and
Programme, and the Atmospheric Chemistry and
                                                       the corresponding authors of six out of the nine
Climate research plan of Stratospheric Processes
                                                       core papers are working in research institutions in
                                                       the USA.

                                                                                                        19
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

CLINICAL MEDICINE
HOT RESEARCH FRONT
DEVELOPMENTAL TREND OF THE TOP 10 RESEARCH FRONTS IN CLINICAL MEDICINE
 Table 13: Top 10 research fronts in clinical medicine

                                                                          Core                 Mean Year of Core
 Rank    Research Fronts (changed)                                                 Citations
                                                                          Papers               Papers

         Catheter-based renal sympathetic denervation for
 1                                                                        19       1707        2011.7
         resistant hypertension

         Treatment and rapid diagnosis with XPERT MTB/RIF assay
 2       for tuberculosis, mainly HIV-associated tuberculosis and         47       2907        2011.4
         multidrug resistant pulmonary tuberculosis

 3       Transcatheter aortic valve implantation                          47       6255        2011

         Fecal microbiota transplantation for recurrent Clostridium
 4                                                                        35       3509        2011
         difficile infection

         Deep brain stimulation for treatment of Parkinson's
 5                                                                        32       2521        2011
         disease and resistant depression

         Prostate cancer-associated mutations, gene fusions and
 6                                                                        25       2443        2011
         outcomes

         Intensive insulin therapy and fluid resuscitation with
 7                                                                        33       4876        2010.9
         hydroxyethyl starch in critically ill patients

         Clinical trials for immunotherapy of Systemic Lupus
 8                                                                        24       2030        2010.9
         Erythematosus

         Enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography of
 9                                                                        27       1869        2010.9
         the choroid

         Relationship between benign prostatic hyperplasia and
 10      prostate cancer; drug therapy for lower urinary tract            22       1788        2010.9
         symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia

 Figure 4: Citing articles for the top 10 research fronts in clinical medicine

20
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

HOT RESEARCH FRONT —
“INTENSIVE INSULIN THERAPY
AND HYDROXYETHYL STARCH
FLUID RESUSCITATION IN
CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS”
Influenced by hormone stress due to insulin             The paper “Intensive Insulin Therapy and
resistance and inflammatory factors,                    Pentastarch Resuscitation in Severe Sepsis,”
hyperglycemia is common in critically ill patients.     published in volume 358 of New England
Significant hyperglycemic conditions will cause         Journal of Medicine in 2008 by Konrad Reinhart
environmental disorders in the body, damage             (corresponding author) of the University of
cellular immune functions, and present many             Jena, Germany, was selected as a core paper
severe complications. Maintaining reasonable            to represent this front. This paper has been
control of the blood glucose levels of critically ill   cited 984 times. It questioned the significance
patients is one of the routine tasks in critical care   of intensive insulin therapy for patients with
medicine. In 2001, Van Den Berne and colleagues         severe sepsis and the safety of HES 200/0.4
indicated that the standard blood glucose level         fluid resuscitation treatment. Reinhart et al.
to reduce the mortality of critically ill patients      argued that, compared with conventional
was 4.4-6.1 mmol/L (i.e., “the Leuven scheme”),         insulin therapy, intensive insulin therapy did
therefore, they were the first to propose the           not reduce the mortality of patients. Rather, it
concept of intensive insulin therapy to control         significantly increased the risk of hypoglycemia
blood glucose levels within 4.4-6.1 mmol/               (17.0 percent vs. 4.1 percent, P
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

In 2011, Devan Kansagara and colleagues at                    critically ill patients underline the dominant
Oregon Health & Science University in the USA                 status of American research; on average, one in
published a systemic review of intensive insulin              three core papers involves research institutions
therapy among hospitalized patients. This article             and researchers in the U.S. (Table 14). Australia,
was selected as a core paper representing this                Canada, Germany, and the UK have also made
front. In this review, the authors performed                  prominent contributions to the research in this
a meta-analysis of 21 trials in the ICU or                    field, commensurate with the medical research
perioperative care involving myocardial infarction,           strength of these countries. Four Australian
stroke, or brain injury. They found that intensive            institutions occupy the top producing institutions
insulin therapy did not improve short-term                    of core papers, which demonstrates that these
mortality, long-term mortality, infection rates,              institutions have continuously maintained a high
length of stay, or the need for renal replacement             degree of focus on this front.
therapy. The data of 10 trials showed that the risk
                                                              The corresponding authors of the 33 core papers
for severe hypoglycemia increased six-fold.
                                                              listed in this hot research front are located
In light of the above research regarding                      throughout Europe, America, Australia, East Asia,
intensive insulin therapy, Annals of Internal                 and South Africa (Table 15). This distribution
Medicine published clinical practice guidelines               shows that the studies in this field have already
regarding use of intensive insulin therapy among              concerned the majority of the world (Table 15).
hospitalized patients issued by the American                  The degree of attention in Europe is the highest;
College of Physicians (ACP) on February 15, 2011.             21 of the corresponding authors are European.
These guidelines recommend against "using
                                                              Five of the first six countries in the top producing
intensive insulin therapy to control blood glucose
                                                              citing papers in those research front countries
in non-surgical ICU (SICU)/medical ICU (MICU)
                                                              (Table 16) match the countries producing core
patients” and “using intensive insulin therapy to
                                                              papers (Table 14). This result shows that the
normalize blood glucose in SICU/MICU patients."
                                                              USA, Canada, Germany, the UK, and Australia
These guidelines were selected as a core paper
                                                              are the leading research locations for this front.
representing this front. Amir Qaseem, director of
                                                              The number of citing articles from the USA is
the Department of Clinical Policy at ACP, was the
                                                              the largest and far more than the number of
corresponding author (Table 15).
                                                              citing articles from other countries; this result
The ACP guidelines slowed the previously                      is commensurate with the world-class medical
prevalent use of intensive insulin therapy among              research level of the USA. In addition, special
critically ill patients. Since then, no intensive             attention should be paid to the University of
insulin therapy articles have been selected as                Amsterdam. The number of its citing articles
core papers in this front.                                    accounts for almost half of those in the
                                                              Netherlands (52/113=46.02%). This result shows
The hot research front studies included in the
                                                              that the University of Amsterdam produced many
discussion of intensive insulin therapy and
                                                              papers related to this topic and has a strong
hydroxyethyl starch fluid resuscitation among
                                                              domestic and international profile.

 Table 14: Top countries and institutions producing the 33 core papers in the research front “Intensive insulin
 therapy and HES fluid resuscitation among critically ill patients”

 Country               Core                     Institution                                        Core
           Country                Proportion                    Institution                                 Proportion
 Ranking               Papers                   Ranking                                            Papers

 1         USA         12         36.4%         1               University of Sydney (Australia)   5        15.2%

                                                                Royal North Shore Hospital
 2         Australia   7          21.2%         2                                                  4        12.1%
                                                                (Australia)

 3         Canada      6          18.2%         3               Austin Hospital (Australia)        3        9.1%

                                                                Saint George Hospital
 4         Germany     5          15.2%         3                                                  3        9.1%
                                                                (Australia)

 4         UK          5          15.2%         3               University of Pittsburgh (USA)     3        9.1%

                                                                Friedrich Schiller University of
                                                3                                                  3        9.1%
                                                                Jena (Germany)

     3
22   cn-healthcare.com/news/qianyan/2013-06-03/content_424539.html
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

Table 15: Top corresponding authors of the 33 core papers in the research front “Intensive insulin therapy and HES
fluid resuscitation among critically ill patients”

Ranking     Reprint Author         Reprint Institution                      Country             Core Papers

1           Reinhart, K            Friedrich Schiller University of Jena    Germany             3

2           Shaw, AD               Duke University                          USA                 2

2           Gattas, DJ             University of Sydney                     Australia           2

3           Zarychanski, R         University of Manitoba                   Canada              1

                                   King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University
4           Arabi, YM                                                       Saudi Arabia        1
                                   for Health Science

4           Bellomo, R             Austin Health                            Australia           1

4           Griesdale, DEG         University of British Columbia           Canada              1

4           Guidet, B              HÔpital Saint-Antoine                    France              1

4           Haase, N               University of Copenhagen                 Denmark             1

4           Hermanides, J          University of Amsterdam                  Netherlands         1

4           James, MFM             University of Cape Town                  South Africa        1

4           Kansagara, D           Oregon Health & Science University       USA                 1

4           Krinsley, JS           Columbia University                      USA                 1

4           Lobo, DN               University of Nottingham                 UK                  1

4           Marik, PE              Eastern Virginia Medical School          USA                 1

                                   Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de
4           Martin, C                                                       France              1
                                   Marseille

4           Moghissi, ES           Marina Del Rey Hospital                  USA                 1

4           Myburgh, JA            University of Sydney                     Australia           1

                                   The Imperial College of Science,
4           Patel, A                                                        UK                  1
                                   Technology and Medicine

4           Perel, P               University of London                     UK                  1

4           Perner, A              University of Copenhagen                 Denmark             1

4           Preiser, JC            University of Liege                      Belgium             1

4           Qaseem, A              American College of Physicians           USA                 1

4           Spies, C               Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin       Germany             1

4           Van den Berghe, G      Catholic University of Louvain           Belgium             1

                                   University of California at San
4           Weiskopf, RB                                                    USA                 1
                                   Francisco

                                   Medical Centre, Department of
4           Wiener, RS                                                      USA                 1
                                   Veterans Affairs, US

4           Zarychanski, R         University of Manitoba                   Canada              1

                                                                                                                 23
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

EMERGING RESEARCH
FRONT – “DRUG PREVENTION
OF RECURRENT VENOUS
THROMBOSIS”
Venous thromboembolism refers to a group of                    Only four core papers exist in the emerging
diseases associated with poor blood recirculation              front of the drug prevention of recurrent venous
caused by abnormal coagulation and embolism                    thrombosis. The University of Perugia in Italy
in the venous lumen; these diseases primarily                  has shown excellent performance in this front,
include deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary                     contributing two of the publications. Four core
embolism. Venous thromboembolism is one of                     papers have investigated the effects of recurrent
the three major causes of cardiovascular disease               thrombosis on prevention using the anti-platelet
mortality. After the occurrence of thrombosis,                 aggregation inhibitor aspirin and the new types
the risk for rethrombosis increases, therefore,                of oral anti-coagulants apixaban and dabigatran.
this condition requires long-term medication.                  These papers indicate that the pharmacological
Venous thrombosis is typically treated with                    actions of all three drugs were safe and did not
conventional anticoagulant drugs. The duration                 require routine anticoagulation monitoring. These
of anticoagulant therapy recommended by the                    medications reduced the risk for recurrent venous
American Association for Thoracic Surgery is                   thrombosis and did not increase the incidence of
more than three months. However, long-term                     bleeding events. They can be used as preventive
anticoagulant therapies increase the risk of                   medications for recurrent venous thrombosis.
bleeding and require continuous monitoring as
well as the adjustment of medication dosages.
Indefinite anticoagulant therapy is not the best
choice. The medication associated with the
continuous treatment period after anticoagulant
therapy is an important issue in the prevention
and treatment of venous thrombosis.

 Table 16: Top countries and institutions producing citing papers in the research front “Intensive insulin therapy
 and HES fluid resuscitation in critically ill patients”

 Country                  Citing                 Institution                                        Citing
           Country                  Proportion                   Institution                                 Proportion
 ranking                  Papers                 Ranking                                            Papers

 1         USA            716       41.9%        1               Harvard University (USA)           64       3.7%

                                                                 University of Amsterdam
 2         Germany        190       11.1%        2                                                  52       3.0%
                                                                 (Netherlands)

 3         UK             167       9.8%         3               University of Toronto (Canada)     47       2.8%

                                                                 Friedrich Schiller University of
 4         Canada         141       8.3%         4                                                  44       2.6%
                                                                 Jena (Germany)

 5         Belgium        121       7.1%         4               Emory University (USA)             44       2.6%

 6         Australia      119       7.0%         6               Mayo Clinic (USA)                  37       2.2%

 7         Netherlands    113       6.6%         7               University of Pittsburgh (USA)     36       2.1%

                                                                 University of Sydney
 8         France         94        5.5%         7                                                  36       2.1%
                                                                 (Australia)

                                                                 Université Libre de Brussels
 9         Italy          85        5.0%         9                                                  34       2.0%
                                                                 (Belgium)

 10        Switzerland    61        3.6%         10              McMaster University (Canada)       33       1.9%

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RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
HOT RESEARCH FRONT
DEVELOPMENTAL TREND OF THE TOP 10 RESEARCH
FRONTS IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Table 17: Top 10 research fronts in biological sciences

                                                                          Core                 Mean Year of
Rank      Research Fronts (changed)                                                Citations
                                                                          Papers               Core Papers

          C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion and
1         frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral                 37       2285        2012.2
          sclerosis

          In vivo imaging and mapping of neurons using
2                                                                         48       2657        2011.8
          fluorescent indicator

          Damage and detection of synthetic cannabinoids and
3                                                                         39       1442        2011.6
          cathinone derivatives in herbal products

4         Dendritic cell, macrophages and immunotherapy                   18       1676        2011.3

          Human disease analysis using genome-wide
5                                                                         13       3492        2011.1
          association studies

          Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into neurons and
6                                                                         15       3009        2011.1
          cardiomyocytes

          Signaling pathways of sensor proteins in the immune
7                                                                         36       4870        2011
          system
          Genome editing technology—transcription activator-
8                                                                        18        2098        2011
          like effectors nuclease (TALEN)
9         Melatonin and oxidative stress                                 20        1915        2011
10        Rapid antidepressive action of ketamine                        21        1798        2011

Figure 5: Citing articles for the top 10 research fronts in biological sciences

                                                                                                              25
RESEARCH FRONTS 2014

HOT RESEARCH FRONT —                                         1.2.1 ANALYSIS OF THE ACTIVE
“HUMAN DISEASES ANALYSIS                                     STATUS OF COUNTRIES AND
USING GENOME-WIDE                                            INSTITUTIONS
ASSOCIATION STUDIES”                                         Australia and the USA are the most active
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) is                    countries in this important hot research front;
a high-throughput method for analyzing the                   they are the major producers of core papers. Of
relationship between molecular markers and                   the 13 core papers listed in Table 18, Australia and
phenotypes that primarily uses the molecular                 the USA each have nine papers, which accounts
markers (mainly single nucleotide polymorphisms              for 69.2 percent of all core papers. Of the top
[SNPs]) that are distributed throughout the entire           institutions with core papers, three institutions are
genome and statistical tools to identify and                 in Australia: the Queensland Institute of Medical
analyze the genetic variations that affect complex           Research, the University of Melbourne, and the
traits. GWAS is currently being applied to analyze           Australian Department of Primary Industries;
complex traits such as human diseases, which                 their corresponding core papers account for 69.2,
are controlled by multiple genes. This area of               53.8 and 46.2 percent of all papers, respectively.
research has already identified many relevant                Harvard University and Washington University
genetic variations, and GWAS has become a key                at St. Louis also rank in the top, and their core
tool in studying human genomics. The papers in               papers account for 46.2 and 38.5 percent of all
this research front have primarily investigated              papers, respectively.
and studied GWAS methods as well as the
relevant analytic tools and software from the
perspective of genetic statistics. These papers
have aimed to detect more new SNPs associated
with complex traits, including height, intelligence,
and diseases, with low cost and high efficiency.
Furthermore, they seek to resolve issues such as
“missing heritability,” which occur in the analytic
process of GWAS.

 Table 18: Top countries and institutions producing the 13 core papers in the research front “Human diseases
 analysis using genome-wide association studies”

 Country                Core                   Institution                                   Core
            Country              Proportion                   Institution                             Proportion
 Ranking                Papers                 Ranking                                       Papers

                                                              Queensland Institute of
 1          Australia   9        69.2%         1                                             9        69.2%
                                                              Medical Research (Australia)

                                                              University of Melbourne
 1          USA         9        69.2%         2                                             7        53.8%
                                                              (Australia)

 3          UK          7        53.8%         3              Harvard University (USA)       6        46.2%

                                                              Department of Environment
 4          Iceland     4        30.8%         3              and Primary Industry           6        46.2%
                                                              (Australia)

                                                              Washington University at St.
 4          Sweden      4        30.8%         5                                             5        38.5%
                                                              Louis (USA)

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