By Keith Pierce and Sherry DiBari

Old Dominion University professors have long been praised for their work in and out of the classroom. Now they have more proof to back up the praise.

A recent Stanford University study ranking the top 2% of most-cited scientists worldwide in 22 major disciplines and 176 subfields included more than 50 former and current ODU faculty.

The study, "Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators," published in PLOS Biology, which collected data on over six million scientists worldwide.

Researchers John Ioannidis of Stanford University, Kevin Boyack of SciTech Strategies and Jeroen Baas of Elsevier Research Intelligence viewed the number of career citations of scholarly articles from the first year of publication to 2019, accessing the results over time.

"Discoveries of scientific research are built on three-legs: people, ideas, and resources," said Oktay Baysal, professor and Eminent Scholar of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at ODU. "In the last couple of decades, ODU has grown to become a world-class contender in scientific research by putting together those essentials and now is well on its way to becoming a hotbed of innovation. It is thrilling to be a part of it all."

A database was created of nearly 160,000 of the world's most-cited researchers, including 53 from Old Dominion.

"As a researcher one is driven by curiosity and by a desire to contribute to scientific knowledge," said Mounir Laroussi, professor of electrical engineering in the Batten College of Engineering and Technology. "To realize that your hard work is actually being recognized and appreciated by your peers gives you more satisfaction than any materialistic possession can ever do."

Ocean and Earth Sciences Professor H. Rodger Harvey believes what makes the accomplishment significant is that the citations are not assigned, purchased or traded, but are chosen by scientific peers to support a result or point and therefore recognizes collective work and its inherent value to the community.

"The body of research that these citations reflect are not mine alone, but represent a collective effort by my students, technicians, collaborators, departments and even the institution to invest in discovery for the long haul," he said. "We've all learned a lot about science and ourselves along the way."

Wu He, who serves as a rotating program director at the National Science Foundation, shared this announcement with his NSF colleagues.

"The directorate leadership at NSF is very impressed with such a long list from ODU," he said. "This ranking helps my national colleagues recognize my professional accomplishment and contributions to the fields in a measurable, objective and meaningful way."

"I am proud to see that so many faculty from ODU have been named among the top 2% of scientists worldwide," Gail Dodge, dean of the College of Sciences and professor of physics at ODU, said. "The sciences are very strong here, and our faculty have had a large impact, not only in the scientific community but more broadly with the public."

A link to the complete list of ODU faculty honored can be found here.

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