About one in five of the 100 life sciences articles listed in the past year in The Scientist’s “Hot Papers” column was written by scientists at just three research institutions— Harvard University, Stanford University, and the Salk Insitute in San Diego. These three produced about 22% of this corpus of strong citation getters in the life sciences, papers that were originally published from early 1987 to late 1988 and that within their first year after publication, received an unusually large number of references by the scientific community.

Institute for Scientific Information’s Science Citation index frequently cited research reports has revealed not only which institutions contributed in greatest measure to this body of work, but also which individuals and teams at the top institutions produced multiple hot papers The survey also determined which nations were represented on these 100 papers, and to what degree, as well as which journals published the...

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