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Frontiers’ Editors recognized in Japan Research Front Awards 2016


Two Frontiers’ Editors are part of the awardees in the Japan Research Front Awards, organized by the Intellectual Property & Science (IP & Science) business of Thomson Reuters.

Dr. Kenji Watanabe and Professor Hiromu Tanimoto were recognized as being at the forefront of research in materials science and neuroscience.

The awards were identified after the scientists’ research was analyzed using Research Front Methodology by IP & Science to assess their level of influence in specific scientific fields and the Web of Science Core Collection.  

Research Front Methodology looks at patterns of intense communication between scientists and such patterns can be used to create a picture of the state of a specific research area in terms of the papers that constitute its core of foundational work.  

Research Front Methodology is based on the top one percent of the most Highly Cited Papers in each of the 22 specific fields of research or disciplines in the Essential Science Indicators™ (ESI).

The Frontiers’ Editors worked on two of the eight research fronts where Japanese scientists have had the greatest world-class influence:

Material Science

Dr. Kenji Watanabe is the Review Editor for Frontiers in Gastroenterology.

He is the Chief Researcher,  Electroceramics Group, Research Center for Functional Materials,  National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS).

He was recognized for his contribution to research and application of the Electronic and Optical Properties of Graphene-Hexagonal Boron Nitride Heterostructures.


Professor Hiromu Tanimoto – Review Editor for Frontiers in Invertebrate Physiology

Director, Department of Molecular Pharmacology, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry.

He was recognized for his contribution to the study of Reward-Signalling Dopamine Neurons.

A total of 12,188 research fronts worldwide were surveyed from the Research Front database from 2010-2015. To identify the Japan Research Front Awardees 2016, research fronts were measured by both 1) 20 percent or more of the core papers were by researchers from Japanese institutions, and 2) one or more Hot Papers carried at least one author affiliation with a Japanese institution.

Hot Papers are a subset of Highly Cited Papers and are all less than two years old. A paper is selected as a Hot Paper if it meets a citation-frequency threshold determined for its field and bi-monthly group. Thresholds are set by finding the closest citation count that would select the top fraction of papers in each field and period. This fraction is set to retrieve about the top 0.1 percent of the papers. Based on these criteria, eight research fronts were identified with participation by Japanese researchers who authored core papers at a level approximately five times or greater than expected. Japan contributed 20 percent of papers indexed by IP & Science during this period.

This is the fourth time that the IP & Science business is honoring leading researchers in Japan to recognize the country’s research excellence and how it is leading the world through innovation in selected fields. Japan held its first three research front awards in 2004, 2007 and 2012.  


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