Web of Science Group Announces Dr. Erjia Yan as Recipient of the 2019 Eugene Garfield Award

Rome, Italy, September 4 2019, 9 a.m. BST – The Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, today named Dr. Erjia Yan as the recipient of the 2019 Eugene Garfield Award for Innovation in Citation Analysis, at the 17th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics in Rome.  


This award recognizes scientists who work on innovative approaches to citation analysis which improve how we measure the impact of scientific research. This field of study, also known as scientometrics, was pioneered by Dr Eugene Garfield, founder of the Institute for Scientific Information. 


Scientometrics shapes the future of scientific discovery by helping governments, funding bodies and universities assess the impact of their work and investments, enabling them to allocate funding accordingly.  It can also provide researchers with insights regarding the impact of their research, and the wider field.   


In 2017 and 2019, the Eugene Garfield award has focused on early career researchers (in 2018 it was open to researchers at all career stages.) This year's recipient, Dr. Erjia Yan is Associate Professor of Information Science at the Drexel University College of Computing and Informatics. Dr. Yan will use the award to examine semi-structured or unstructured bibliometric fields, including titles, abstracts and keywords (as opposed to the traditional units, journal associations or authorship) to make sense of bibliometric indicators and numbers. His research will help to provide a vital empirical foundation for many facets of scientific activity, such as the promotion of innovation; better and more transparent science policymaking; and the development of an equitable and sustainable scientific workforce. 


Dr. Erjia Yan, Drexel University, said: “I have always been fascinated by citation data because I believe that by analysing data we can shed light on how science is carried out and understand how scientists work.  


“This award happened at an important moment, as I have adopted new career goals after getting tenure at Drexel University. I aim to build a research profile that uses citation data not just to describe the research landscape but to conduct citation-supported inferences that help stakeholders and constituents make informed science policy decisions. With the support of this award and particularly the high quality Web of Science data, I can advance my research through the design and development of high-impact bibliometric research that draws audiences across discipline boundaries - a lifetime goal for me.”  


Dr. Yan will receive $25,000 of unrestricted prize money and access to the Web of Science, the world's largest publisher-neutral citation index. Dr. Yan will also have the opportunity to collaborate with the prestigious Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), which was originally established in 1960 by Dr. Eugene Garfield. The ISI focuses on the development of existing and new scientometric approaches. 


Professor Jonathan Adams, Director of the Institute for Scientific Information said: "We are proud to select Dr. Erjia Yan as the recipient of the 2019 Eugene Garfield Award for Innovation in Citation Analysis. Dr. Yan’s innovative proposal aims to reveal the “science of science” to an unprecedented extent. We hope it will help the research community to obtain an in-depth understanding of the production and dissemination patterns of scientific knowledge, innovations, and influences. This creative application of citation data from Web of Science is a perfect example of the type of inventive and inspiring research that Dr. Garfield supported throughout his long and distinguished career.” 


As a pioneer in automated indexing and retrieval of information, Dr. Eugene Garfield developed numerous citation databases which have changed how scientists search and assess scholarly literature. These include Web of Science, which indexes the contents and the citation network of the world's premier scientific and scholarly journals and proceedings, and Journal Citation Reports, which provides Journal Impact Factors and other citation metrics describing the influence of journals and how they are related to one another. These are just two of Garfield's unprecedented, valuable, and enduring inventions. Dr. Garfield had many interests related to information science and technology, but one of the key threads across all of them is citation indexing and analysis and its impact on information retrieval, research assessment, and the study of the science of science.  


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