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Institute for Astronomy Researchers "Highly Cited"

From left to right: Len Cowie, Pat Henry, Dave Sanders, and Brent Tully

The publishers of Science Citation Index have named four IfA scientists, Lennox L. Cowie, J. Patrick Henry, David B. Sanders, and R. Brent Tully, "highly cited authors." The Web site lists them among 249 of the world's most cited and influential researchers in the space sciences, the top one-half of one percent of all publishing researchers in this field.

Being highly cited is the academic equivalent of being on the bestseller list. A citation occurs when researchers use others' results while conducting their own research. This type of analysis is a way of identifying the most influential scientists in a given discipline, in this case the space sciences, just as an important author is recognized by the number of books sold.

Dr. Cowie is a leader in the field of cosmology (the origin and structure of the Universe). In 1984, he received the Bart J. Bok Prize, which Harvard University awards in recognition of distinguished research by a graduate under age 35. He received the Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society in 1985 for a significant contribution by an astronomer less than 36 years of age.

Dr. Henry also works in the field of cosmology, and he is a leader in using observations of X-rays from clusters of galaxies to elucidate the evolution of the Universe. He was the director of the Chandra X-Ray Data Center at the University of Hawai'i.

Dr. Sanders studies molecular clouds, interacting galaxies, and quasars, particularly their emissions at far-infrared and submillimeter wavelengths. He received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior Award in 2000.

Dr. Tully studies galaxies. In the 1970s, he and Dr. J. R. Fisher discovered the Tully-Fisher relation, which enables astronomers to measure the distances to spiral galaxies.

The selection of each highly cited researcher is based on the total number of citations he or she received in a given discipline as recorded in the ISI database between 1981 and 1999. Thus, to be included a scientist must have been active for most of the period selected, and must have published many papers, at least some of which have been so groundbreaking that they are frequently cited by others in the field. Those whose most significant work preceded the chosen period or who made important contributions toward the end of this period are not likely to be included.

Seven scientists at the University of Hawaii (four in space sciences, two in geosciences, and one in plant and animal science) are currently listed in the database. The database includes researchers in twenty-one broad science categories, including life sciences, medicine, physical sciences, engineering, and social sciences.