UMBC researchers listed among the world’s top 2% of most-cited scientists and engineers

Published: Feb 10, 2023

Three people work with machinery in a lab. They wear protective glasses and gloves. One wears a sweater reading "UMBC Rerievers."
Physics professor Matthew Pelton (center), a UMBC researcher included in Elsevier's top most-cited scientists list, in his lab with two student researchers. (Marlayna Demond '11/UMBC)

More than 40 active UMBC researchers are listed among the top 2% of the world’s most-cited scientists and engineers in an analysis recently published by Elsevier.  

These researchers include faculty across all three of UMBC’s academic colleges as well as UMBC’s NASA-funded centers, such as the Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research (GESTAR II) Center. Their work covers an incredibly diverse array of topics. Represented academic departments include:

  • biological sciences
  • chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering
  • chemistry and biochemistry
  • computer science and electrical engineering
  • geography and environmental systems
  • information systems
  • mathematics and statistics
  • mechanical engineering
  • physics
  • psychology

“We perform research to further our understanding of how the various aspects of our world function,” says Karl V. Steiner, vice president for research and creative achievement. “One of the highest recognitions in the scientific community is when other members of this community cite our work.”

He notes, “The Elsevier analysis shows that our researchers are truly impacting the scientific community in a significant way.”

History of citation honors

The list includes faculty researchers who have also received other “highly cited” researcher accolades. In 2022, Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental systems (GES), was featured on Clarivate’s Highly Cited Researchers list, which includes papers ranked in the top 1% of citations within Clarivate’s Web of Science database. About 0.1% of the world’s researchers have received this distinction. Ellis is known for his transformational work on human-managed ecosystems, with his research described as top discovery of 2021 by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Lorraine Remer, one of UMBC's most-cited scientists -- a woman with glasses who is smiling while standing near a staircase.
Lorraine Remer (Marlayna Demond ’11/UMBC)

Lorraine Remer, research professor for the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, who is affiliated with both GES and physics, is frequently honored for her geophysics publications. She received the 2019 UMBC Research Faculty Excellence Award following her recognition as one of “The Most Influential Scientific Minds” on the Thomson Reuters highly cited researchers list.

Anupam Joshi, director of UMBC’s Center for Cybersecurity and professor and chair of computer science and electrical engineering, was also included on Elsevier’s highly-cited list. His career trajectory demonstrates how UMBC faculty balance high-impact research with other forms of leadership. He has published more than 275 papers, has been granted nine patents, and has obtained research support from a variety of federal and industrial sources. At the same time, he is now serving as a 2022–23 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, an intensive program focused on agility and innovative problem solving among higher education leaders. 

Measuring impact

This latest most-cited researchers list is based on data annually compiled from author profiles in Elsevier’s abstract and citation database, Scopus. 

Elsevier’s 2022 database of standardized citation indicators classifies researchers into 22 fields and 174 subfields. Those with a composite indicator (c-score) within the top 2% of each subfield are included in the most-cited list. The list’s authors indicate that c-score is used because it “focuses on impact (citations) rather than productivity (number of publications)” and because it includes granular information on authorship, including co-authorship and author position (e.g., single, first, or last author). 

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