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09/25/1998 07:00:00

Caltech neuroscience ranked No. 1 in impact

PASADENA—The California Institute of Technology has been recognized as the No. 1 institution in the nation for the impact of its neuroscience research. The results are reported in the September/October issue of Science Watch.

In a survey of papers published in hundreds of scientific journals between 1993 and 1997, Science Watch noted that Caltech neuroscientists published 395 papers during the period. Based on the number of times the papers were cited in other scientific papers, the Philadelphia-based publication concluded that Caltech papers were the most influential.

According to editor Chris King, Science Watch determines the number of times each paper in a scientific field is cited by other papers in that field, and then compares these scores to a world average for papers in the same field for a quantification of "relative impact."

In all, Caltech's 395 neuroscience papers earned 6,074 citations during the period. This was an average of 15.38 citations per paper, as compared to the world average of 6.54 for neuroscience papers. Thus, Caltech papers were 135 percent above the worldwide average. Because this was the highest average of any institution, Caltech was ranked as having the highest relative impact.

The calculation "represents what scientists think is important in their field when they write papers," says King.

Science Watch is published by the Institute for Scientific Information, which is headquartered in Philadelphia.