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Characterizing a scientific elite: the social characteristics of the most highly cited scientists in environmental
 

Summary: Characterizing a scientific elite: the social characteristics
of the most highly cited scientists in environmental
science and ecology
John N. Parker Christopher Lortie Stefano Allesina
Received: 4 November 2009
The Author(s) 2010. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Abstract In science, a relatively small pool of researchers garners a disproportionally
large number of citations. Still, very little is known about the social characteristics of
highly cited scientists. This is unfortunate as these researchers wield a disproportional
impact on their fields, and the study of highly cited scientists can enhance our under-
standing of the conditions which foster highly cited work, the systematic social inequalities
which exist in science, and scientific careers more generally. This study provides infor-
mation on this understudied subject by examining the social characteristics and opinions of
the 0.1% most cited environmental scientists and ecologists. Overall, the social charac-
teristics of these researchers tend to reflect broader patterns of inequality in the global
scientific community. However, while the social characteristics of these researchers mirror
those of other scientific elites in important ways, they differ in others, revealing findings
which are both novel and surprising, perhaps indicating multiple pathways to becoming
highly cited.
Keywords Highly-cited Ecology Environmental science Stratification

  

Source: Allesina, Stefano - Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine