[updated 10 Jan, 2021.Note that the Ioannidis database has subsequently been updated till 2020. I have not gone through the updated rankings to adjust the list below, so this list is valid only for the date on which I last updated it]

The scientific impact maven John Ioannidis from Stanford University and his team have just published a massive ranking of the world’s most-cited authors across all scientific fields in a PLoS Biology paper titled A standardized citation metrics author database annotated for scientific field.

The Ioannidis group used Scopus to analyse the output and citations of 6,880,389 authors who had published at least 5 papers during the 22 years Jan 1996-Dec 31 2017, the latest date when full data were available. In this paper they report on the top 100,000 of these 6.88 million authors (in fact on 105,026). Two searchable supplementary excel tables can be downloaded, one for all 22 years and the other for the single year of 2017.

They ranked the top 105,026 authors across all scientific fields “based on their ranking of a composite indicator that considers six citation metrics (total citations; Hirsch h-index; co-authorship adjusted Schreiberhm-index; number of citations to papers as single author; number of citations to papers as single or first author; and number of citations to papers as single, first, or last author).” The authors argue that this database “provides a measure of long-term performance [and] also reflects their career-long impact or is a very good approximation thereof.”

I spent a couple of hours searching for authors who I know have made substantial research contributions in the tobacco control field.

The list below shows 100 names that I found in the list of the highest ranked 105,026 authors. Some of these published almost exclusively in the tobacco field, while others published more widely, including in the tobacco area (these I have italicised below).

If you know of others who should be in this top 100, please let me know via the comment button on this blog and I’ll check their details on the link above and add their names.

Several things stand out for me:

  • huge male dominance (just 19 of the 100 are women)
  • a near total dominance (91%) by anglophone nation authors (62 USA, 16 UK, 7 Australia, 4 New Zealand, 2 Canada)
  • most of those on the list are older authors, reflecting their outputs across  22 years
  • several are deceased

Many highly productive and influential authors I looked for were not shown in the 105,206 highest ranked. Many of these are younger people who have been publishing for fewer years. One, Geoff Fong from the University of Waterloo in Canada, was not on the list which stunned me. Geoff’s work has had 30,794 cites and he has an H index of 83. I find it incredible that such an output would not catapult him high in any world ranking, yet his name does not appear.

Ranking of authors with exclusive or major contributions in tobacco control related publications 1996-2017 (denominator 6,880,389 authors across all areas of scholarship who had published at least 5 papers)

* deceased

Richard Peto (UK) 314

Neal Benowitz (USA) 334

Michael Thun (USA) 399

Carlo La Vecchia (Ita) 564

Stephen Hecht (USA) 821

Richard Doll* (UK) 892

Jon Samet (USA) 1133

Jim Prochaska (USA) 1237

Saul Shiffman (USA) 1760

Wayne Hall (Aus) 1793

Robert West (UK) 4157

Martin McKee (UK) 4483

Ernst Wynder* (USA) 5765

Wayne Velicer* (USA) 5955

Stan Glantz (USA) 6002

James Pankow (USA) 6196

Michael Fiore (USA) 6524

Judith Ockene (USA) 6708

John Pierce (USA) 7009

Ross Brownson (USA) 8184

Carlo DiClemente (USA) 9164

Robert Beaglehole (NZ) 11091

Lisa Bero (USA) 11395

Nancy Rigotti (USA) 11483

Steve Tiffany (USA) 12725

Gil Botvin (USA) 12821

John Britton (UK) 13193

Martin Jarvis (UK) 13298

Ray Niaura (USA) 13736

Jack Henningfield (USA) 14041

Ruth Bonita (NZ) 14192

Cheryl Perry (USA) 14929

David Abrams (USA) 14963

Srinath Reddy (Ind) 15505

Simon Chapman (Aus) 15782

Meredith Minkler (USA) 17501

Ken Warner (USA) 17623

Ron Borland (Aus) 17636

Frank Chaloupka (USA) 19048

Gary Giovino (USA) 19705

Konrad Jamrozik* (Aus) 20719

Mike Cummings (USA) 21885

Rob Sanson-Fisher (Aus) 22486

Tracy Orleans (USA) 22558

Prakash Gupta (Ind) 23900

Gary Swan (USA) 24114

Sue Curry (USA) 25261

Jennifer Unger (USA) 25948

Karen Emmons (USA) 26139

Lynn Kozlowski (USA) 27047

Michael Russell* (UK) 27129

Judy Prochaska (USA) 27561

David Hammond (Can) 27701

Robert Klesges (USA) 28237

Riccardo Polosa (Ita) 29511

Richard Hurt (USA) 29999

Dorothy Hatsukami (USA) 30337

Joe DiFranza (USA) 30981

Ellen Gritz (USA) 31122

Karl Fagerstrom (Sweden) 31519

Hein de Vries (Nld) 31860

Wasim Maziak (USA) 32034

Paula Lantz (USA) 33216

Mark Nichter (USA) 33635

Prahbat Jha (Can) 35151

Tom Eissenberg (USA) 35676

Mohammad Siahpush (USA) 36716

TH Lam (HK) 37299

Tim Baker (USA) 38410

Tim Lancaster (UK) 38474

Robert Jackler (USA) 39747

Ann McNeill (UK) 41085

Melanie Wakefield (Aus) 42453

Michael Siegel (USA) 43187

James Sargent (USA) 43788

Peter Hajek (UK) 44012

Teh Wei Hu (USA) 45443

Scott Tomar (USA) 45658

Ed Lichtenstein (USA) 46483

David Hill (Aus) 47303

John Hughes (USA) 48365

Doug Jorenby (USA) 48555

Lois Biener (USA) 49709

Peter Lee (UK) 49776

Derek Yach (USA) 52459

Tony Blakely (NZ) 55384

David Levy (USA) 55931

Ruth Malone (USA) 57070

Witold Zatonski (Pol) 57694

Gerard Hastings (UK) 59080

Harry Lando (USA) 59597

Lindsay Stead (UK) 60988

Robyn Richmond (Aus) 61224

Takeski Hirayama* (Jap) 63289

Jonathan Foulds (USA) 63709

Melbourne Hovell (USA) 63836

Tim Coleman (UK) 64738

Alastair Woodward (NZ) 64832

Paul Aveyard (UK) 67806

Ken Ward (USA) 80195