For more information, contact:
Diane Greenberg, 631 344-2347, or
Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056
go to home page
August 2, 2001

Brookhaven Lab Ranked Among Top Five Institutions In Terms of Impact of Environmental Research

Upton, NY - The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory has been ranked among the top five major institutions worldwide in terms of the impact of its environmental research, according to a study completed by The Guardian, a British newspaper. One measure of the value of a research publication is how often it is cited in papers written by other scientists. The Guardian used the average number of citations per paper produced by each environmental research group from 1994 to 1998 as the primary measure of the group's impact.

With 256 publications cited 1,953 times, and an average of 7.63 citations per paper, Brookhaven Lab ranked fourth in the study worldwide, and first in the U.S. The other top institutions, ranked in descending order, from first to third, were Brunel University, in Britain, with 67 journal articles cited 707 times; the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany, with 231 articles cited 1,893 times; and the Max Plank Institute for Chemistry in Germany, with 438 articles cited 3,486 times. Columbia University came in fifth, with 879 articles cited 6,541 times.

The Institute for Information, a Philadelphia-based company, supplied the data for the study. The analysis covered the four leading countries around the world in terms of the number of scientific publications published: Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Researchers in these countries produced almost 10 million research articles of international value in all fields of science over the last 20 years, and these articles were cited over 100 million times.

C. Wirick"Brookhaven Lab has a long history of distinguished environmental research," said Creighton Wirick, chair of the Laboratory's Environmental Sciences Department. "We have only 80 people in our department, but they are all extremely versatile and productive, working on a variety of environmental issues, with funding primarily from the U.S. Department of Energy."

"Some other research institutions produce higher numbers of publications per scientist, and more publications in total because they have larger faculties than we do," said George Hendrey, head of Brookhaven's Earth Systems Sciences Division. "This rating, however, is an indication that the quality of our papers is very high and ranks with the best in the world."

Scientists in Brookhaven's Environmental Sciences Department study atmospheric pollutants and the effect of aerosols on global climate; perform research aimed at understanding the effects of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and its impact on the biosphere and on the earth's biogeochemical cycles; build and deploy instrument systems for research on physical processes relating to climate change; consolidate scientific efforts to understand and characterize waste containing radionuclides, toxic metals, and chemicals; and provide scientific and technical support to several of the U.S. Department of Energy's global change programs.

View the article in The Guardian that provides details on the methods used for the study, and a listing of how the institutions fared according to the newspaper's ranking system.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies. Brookhaven also builds and operates major facilities available to university, industrial, and government scientists. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a partnership led by Stony Brook University and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.