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Essential Science Indicators

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2023 10:05 AM

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Essential Science Indicators (ESI) identifies the influential individuals, institutions, papers, publications, and countries in their field of study — as well as emerging research areas that could impact their work.

This extensive compilation of science performance statistics and science trends data is based on journal article publication counts and citation data from Web of Science Core Collection databases. It is a helpful analytical resource for policymakers, administrators, analysts and information specialists. ESI is fully integrated with Web of Science. It is highly recommended that you watch the series of short videos on how to use ESI before using this tool for the first time.​

ESI ranks authors, however, it is not possible for Web of Science to fully disambiguate authors, separating out publications of different authors with the same or similar names. This is especially a problem with authors who have common last names, like Smith or Liu, which makes author analysis highly problematic.  ESI also ranks institutions, countries, and journals across 22 broad disciplines. The database provides a 10-year rolling window that is updated every two months, accumulating up to 11 years of data.  Rankings and citation counts are re-calculated with each bimonthly update.

Included are the ability to::

  • Rank top scientists, institutions, countries, and journals in 22 specific fields of research in science.
  • Identify significant trends in the sciences and social sciences.
  • Rank top countries, journals, scientists, papers, and institutions by field of research.
  • Determine research output and impact in specific fields of research.
  • Evaluate potential employees, collaborators, reviewers, and peers.
  • Answer questions like:
    • What are the most cited papers in immunology?
    • What are the emerging research areas in agricultural sciences?
    • What country has the highest impact in chemical research?
    • Who are the most highly cited authors in the field of molecular biology?
    • What are the top journals in geosciences?
  • Access to additional information: 
    • Research Fronts — Algorithmically derived topics reflect research-intensive and breakthrough areas of current science.
    • Highly Cited Papers — Chosen from the most recent 10 years of data.
    • Hot Papers — Focuses on very recent papers (from the past two years) that show an unusual rate of citation in the current period.
    • — Further information and commentaries pertaining to the scientists, institutions, journals, countries/territories, and papers listed in the rankings.

Dates Covered

Current ten years, updated bimonthly.

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