University of Pretoria’s fields of Biology and Biochemistry ranked in top 1% globally – ESI indicators

Posted on November 28, 2019

The University of Pretoria’s (UP) research field of Biology and Biochemistry has been ranked within the top 1% globally, according to the Clarivate Analytics Essential Science Indicators (ESI), which was updated on 15 November 2019.

This now brings the number of research fields that UP has in the ESI top 1% to nine.  Plant and Animal Science, Clinical Medicine, Environment/Ecology, Engineering, Microbiology, Social Sciences, Immunology and Agricultural Science already occupy that space. UP is top in South Africa, according to the number of citations in Engineering (11 705) and Plant and Animal Science (34 944). Plant and Animal Science has the highly research-productive Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) and the Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics; as well as the only veterinary school in South Africa.  Engineering is doing well in research citations as it is the largest faculty at UP, with seven departments and a Graduate School of Technology Management.

ESI is a compilation of performance statistics extrapolated from articles published in scholarly journals and the citations to those articles. It lists the institutions and researchers that performed within the top 1% of their research fields globally. The ESI database covers 22 broad research fields and is updated bi-monthly to cover data of the past 10 years. Data is based on research articles indexed in Clarivate Analytics Web of Science (WOS). All institutions which publish articles indexed in WOS, are included. The ranking is based on the number of citations retrieved for those articles. 

According to the Clarivate website, the ESI database reveals emerging science trends as well as influential individuals, institutions, papers, journals and countries in respective fields of research. Science trend statistics are drawn from more than 12 million articles from over 12 000 global journals, affording universities the platform to evaluate collaborators.


Professor Yves van de Peer, who has made significant contributions to the Biology and Biochemistry research field. 

Top papers are highly cited papers within a research field over 10 years. UP produced 176 top papers within ESI. These papers are from 17 of the 22 research fields within ESI, also including Chemistry, Economics and Business, Geosciences, Mathematics, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Physics and Space Science.

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe congratulated Professor Yves van de Peer, Professor Nigel Bennett and Dr Heike Lutermann, who have contributed greatly to the Biology and Biochemistry research field. “I congratulate you for producing high-quality research that is at the cutting and leading edge of science,” he said.

He said UP is consistently trying to produce high quality-research that is within the realms of trans- and multi-disciplinary research. “This research is essential for finding solutions to Africa’s and world’s challenges to create future.”

- Author Primarashni Gower

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