For researchers, scholarship and achievement aren’t quantified or evaluated strictly by funding dollars earned or number of research projects, but rather by citations — the number of times other scientists have referenced a researcher’s findings in their own academic papers. The higher the number of citations, the better. Citations are an indication that a particular work was influential in moving the field forward.

Of the world’s scientists and social scientists, six Virginia Tech researchers have been named on Clarivate’s Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list for demonstrating significant influence in their fields or across multiple fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. 

The highly cited researchers' names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1 percent by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index, and the list identifies the research institutions and countries where they are based.

“I am extremely proud of the Virginia Tech researchers who have been named on this list for their dedication to scholarship and research, placing them among top researchers from around the world,” said Dan Sui, Virginia Tech’s senior vice president for research and innovation.

Compiled by Clarivate, a global company that provides data and maintains the Web of Science, the annual list identified 6,938 researchers from across the globe who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.

“Research fuels the race for knowledge, and it is important that nations and institutions celebrate the individuals who drive the wheel of innovation,” said David Pendlebury, Clarivate’s head of research analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information. “The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers at Virginia Tech who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers. These individuals are helping to transform human ingenuity into our world’s greatest breakthroughs — and it is an honor to celebrate their achievements.”

Virginia Tech researchers Lina Quan and Georgia E. Hodes received the distinction of being cited as “cross-field,” a category that identifies researchers who have contributed to highly cited papers across several different fields. Some Virginia Tech researchers listed below have appeared on this prestigious list multiple times.

Virginia Tech faculty members on Clarivate’s Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list include:

Hodes, assistant professor of neuroscience in the College of Science, was cited for studies that cross multiple fields with research examining sex differences in the peripheral and central immune system and how immune mechanisms interact with brain plasticity to drive behavioral differences in susceptibility and resiliency to stress. Her research interests include the molecular substrates directing the functional contribution of hormones and cytokines to the onset, symptoms, and cause of mood disorders in both sexes.

Wenjing Lou, the W.C. English Endowed Professor of Computer Science in the College of Engineering, has made innovative and widely cited research contributions in a diverse set of challenging security and privacy contexts, including problems arising in next-generation wireless networks, the Internet of Things, network management and routing, blockchain systems, and data security and privacy in the cloud. Lou, who also holds a courtesy appointment in electrical and computer engineering and is a co-director of the Complex Networks and Security Research lab, has been an IEEE fellow since 2015 and founded the IEEE conference on communications and network security.

Viswanath Venkatesh, the Verizon Professor in Department of Business Information Technology and director of the Executive Ph.D. program in the Pamplin College of Business, has published 140 journal articles in various fields, including human-computer interaction, information systems, organizational behavior, psychology, marketing, medical informatics, and operations management. He is the most-cited scholar at Virginia Tech per Clarivate’s Web of Science with almost 50,000 citations and more than 152,000 citations per Google Scholar. Venkatesh’s research focuses on understanding the diffusion of technologies in organizations and society, and he has published several high-impact papers related to societal and organizational problems. 

Quan, assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Science, was cited for studies that cross multiple fields, focusing on the optical and electronic properties of emerging semiconductors such as perovskites for use in next-generation optoelectronic applications. With her research group, Quan employs a number of cutting-edge characterization techniques (ultrafast lasers, synchrotron X-ray) to study the photophysics of materials and devices with high spatial and temporal resolutions. Applications for her research are: light harvesting, light emitting, and other related optoelectronic devices.

Walid Saad, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering and IEEE rellow, was cited for research at the intersection of wireless systems, artificial intelligence (AI), game theory, and cyber-physical systems, including seminal contributions to emerging wireless systems including 5G, 6G, and beyond; machine learning, and edge computing/AI. Saad, an expert in wireless systems and AI, leads the Network Science, Wireless, and Security Laboratory and is the Next-G Wireless Faculty lead for Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, aims to lay the foundation of AI-native, sustainable wireless 6G systems that exploit brain-like intelligence and reasoning to support the unique needs of future applications, such as wireless extended reality and digital twins, that will be pillars of the anticipated metaverse.

Zheng Xiang, associate professor and head of hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business, was cited for his research that includes travelers’ use of information technology, digital marketing strategies, emergent technologies, and social media analytics. His research focuses on the strategic implications of information technologies for the hospitality and tourism industry. He served as president of the International Federation for IT and Travel and Tourism and currently serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Information Technology and Tourism.

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Virginia Tech places five faculty on Highly Cited Researchers 2021 list

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