Two researchers honored as "influencers"

Empa scientists among this year's "Highly Cited Researchers"

Nov 15, 2022 | AMANDA CARACAS
Every year, scientists whose publications have been most frequently cited are selected. They are considered to be particularly influential in their field. This year, two Empa scientists are featured on the coveted list.
"Highly Cited Researchers" are those which have demonstrated significant and broad influence reflected in their publication of multiple highly cited papers over the last decade. Image: Clarivate

Influencers – as known from social media – are associated with attributes such as prominence and impact. But they do not only exist in social media. In science, the influence of researchers is not measured by "followers" or "likes", but by how often their work is cited by other scientists. Only the authors of the one percent of the most cited scientific papers in various disciplines are awarded the title of "Highly Cited Researcher" by the analysis company Clarivate. The list identifies and recognizes exceptional researchers with a significant impact on the research community.

Two pioneers in their scientific fields

This year, two Empa researchers are featured on the "Highly Cited Researchers" list: Bernd Nowack and Maksym Kovalenko. Nowack, an environmental scientist, heads a research group in Empa's Technology and Society laboratory that studies, among other things, the environmental impact of various nanomaterials. His high-profile work on microplastics and the spread of nanomaterials in the environment secured Nowack a spot on the ranking list for the ninth year in a row.
Environmental scientist Bernd Nowack is among those selected – for the ninth time in a row. Of around eight million researchers worldwide, this year only 7,225 belong to the circle of "Highly Cited Researchers". Image: Empa

Maksym Kovalenko, who also holds a professorship for inorganic materials at ETH Zurich, focuses on developing novel functional materials for energy generation and storage. His research on luminescent nanoparticles led to breakthroughs, for which he received numerous awards. This year, Kovalenko appears on the list for the fifth time in a row.
Maksym Kovalenko will be on the list of "Highly Cited Researchers" for the fifth time. His research on nanomaterials was decisive for the development of novel types of batteries. Image: Empa
Switzerland in ninth place

A total of 112 Swiss researchers are represented on the Clarivate list in 2022, or 1.6% of all highly cited scientists. With a ninth place in the ranking, Switzerland has improved by one place compared to last year. The USA has been at the top of the ranking for years, with 2,764 researchers or 38.3 percent. China takes second place with 1,169 researchers (16.2 percent), followed by the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.

Ranking Country/Region Number HCRs %
1 United States 2,764 38.3
2 China Mainland 1,169 16.2
3 United Kingdom 579 8
4 Germany 369 5.1
5 Australia 337 4.7
6 Canada 226 3.1
7 The Netherlands 210 2.9
8 France 134 1.9
9 Switzerland 112 1.6
10 Singapore 106 1.5


Further information

Prof. Dr. Bernd Nowack
Technology and Society
Phone +41 58 765 76 92

Prof. Dr. Maksym Kovalenko
Thin Films and Photovoltaics
Phone +41 58 765 45 57

Editor / Media contact

Amanda Caracas
Phone +41 58 765 60 59


Follow us