Two UP academics feature on prestigious Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers List 2021

Posted on November 16, 2021

The University of Pretoria (UP) is pleased to announce that academics Professors Mike Wingfield and Rangan Gupta have been named on the annual Highly Cited Researchers™ 2021 list from Clarivate.

Clarivate operates a collection of subscription-based services focused largely on analytics, including scientific and academic research. “The highly anticipated annual list identifies researchers who demonstrated significant influence in their fields, through the publication of multiple highly cited research papers during the last decade. Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science™ citation index,” according to Clarivate.  

The methodology that determines the “who’s who” of influential researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts and data scientists at the Institute for Scientific Information™ at Clarivate. Citations occur when researchers refer to the work of others when they publish in scholarly journals. 

Professor Rangan Gupta

The annual list identifies about 6 600 researchers from across the globe who demonstrated significant influence in their fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. 

Prof Gupta, of the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, said: “This is indeed a pleasant surprise, but it is satisfying to know that my work in the fields of macroeconomics, financial economics, and energy economics is being recognised internationally.” He thanked the Department and Faculty “for pursuing a goal of excellence through research that matters. I would like to thank my co-authors, without whom this would not be possible.”

Prof Wingfield, Advisor to the UP Executive and a Forestry and Agriculture Biotechnology Institute  (FABI) research professor, features on the prestigious list for the fifth consecutive year. He established FABI as the founding director in 1998 ( and his research focus is on the health of trees globally. He is interested in insect pests and microbial pathogens that threaten the future of naturally occurring and planted forests. 

Professor Mike Wingfield

His advice to young researchers is: “There is only one standard; this is a global standard. Build international networks of collaboration and stretch as far as possible away from pedestrian to the perhaps more risky but challenging questions. Remember that a ‘moving boat rocks’, and the big breakthroughs lie in the stormy rather than calm waters.”

This year’s list includes 24 Nobel laureates as well as 77 Citation Laureates™: individuals recognised by Clarivate, through citation analysis, as ‘of Nobel class’ and potential Nobel Prize recipients, while some extraordinary Highly Cited Researchers appear in more than one Essential Science Indicators (ESI)™ field. 


David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate, said: “It is increasingly important for nations and institutions to recognise and support the exceptional researchers who are driving the expansion of the world’s knowledge. This list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers at the University of Pretoria who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers. The research they have contributed is fuelling the innovation, sustainability, health and security that is key for our society’s future.”

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said: “I am thrilled about this achievement and send my congratulations to Profs Gupta and Wingfield. By being highly cited, not only have they made a significant contribution to scientific knowledge, but they also inspire other researchers to lift their performance to reach global excellence. At UP we produce trans-disciplinary research that is excellent and makes a difference to society.” 

The full 2021 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary can be found here.

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