Researchers of Nobel class: Citation Laureates 2023

The Citation Laureates™ 2023 list has been announced, recognizing a select group of influential, highly cited researchers whose contributions are on par with Nobel Prize recipients. We explore their profound impact on our world and their enduring commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, inspiring the next generation of researchers. 

We at the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)™ at Clarivate™ have announced 23 new Citation Laureates, a designation that recognizes researchers of Nobel class based on citation analysis and suggests that these individuals might one day be called to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize itself. In fact, since 2002 when Clarivate began naming Citation Laureates annually, 71 Citation Laureates have gone on to receive Nobel honours.

Identifying the Citation Laureates

The selection of Citation Laureates begins with an examination of highly cited papers in the Web of Science™, typically published from 1970 to the present. We focus on papers published 20 to 30 years ago. This time window constitutes something of a sweet spot in terms of Nobel Prize forecasting because the Prize is typically given only after history has shown that a specific research contribution has had an enduring and significant impact.

Of some 58 million papers (articles and proceedings) indexed in the Web of Science since 1970, only about 8,700 have been cited 2,000 times or more (.01%). This is a level of attention that most Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine, Physics, or Chemistry earn in one or more of their papers. For Economics, the threshold is around 1,000 citations.

In addition to the number of citations, our selection process considers whether the authors of the highly cited papers were the primary discoverers or individuals who extended the work of pioneers – it is the pioneers that have priority in the Nobel Assembly’s choices. We also check if the researchers have been recipients of international or national awards, which may corroborate and reinforce our selection.

We also try to imagine whether the identified achievements might be recognized in terms of the nature of past choices, since the Nobel Committees exhibit a ‘taste’ for some types of discoveries, such as those that have overturned a long-established paradigm.

Finally, we look at recent Nobel Prizes and judge whether the topics identified would likely receive attention within next few years. Although we do not forecast a topic or researchers for the Nobel Prize in the year we name them Citation Laureates, we do try to anticipate near-term awards.

Diverse fields of excellence

The Citation Laureates 2023 represent diverse disciplines, from cancer treatment to designer molecular structures, human microbiomes to synthetic gene circuits, and wealth inequality to urban economics.

Here are some examples of the high-impact work from this year’s Citation Laureates:

  • In Physiology or Medicine, we applaud researchers who collectively have played a pivotal role in developing cancer immunotherapy, changing the landscape of treatment and offering new hope to patients.
  • In Physics, we celebrate a pioneer whose innovative work led to technologies that have advanced data storage, allowing for smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient electronic devices.
  • In the world of Chemistry, we honour Laureates whose groundbreaking research contributed to advancements in drug delivery and nanomedicine.
  • And in Economics, we recognize an economist whose influential work across urban development, housing and the economics of cities is helping us address the complex challenges and opportunities that cities face in the modern world.

You can hear their personal stories, along with other recent Citation Laureates’, on our interview video series on our website.

The impact on our world

Citation Laureates 2023 have reshaped the boundaries of human knowledge, pushing the frontiers of what is known and what is possible. And their work has undoubtedly inspired others to embark on their own journeys of discovery.

In the spirit of honouring excellence in research, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Citation Laureates 2023 and express our gratitude for their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge.


See who’s been selected as Citation Laureates 2023 and explore the Hall of Citation Laureates on our website.