CANBERRA, Australia, April 3 /PRNewswire/ --

- Australia Ranked Among the Top Ten Nations for the Influence of its Scientific Papers in 2007 According to Thomson Scientific Data

Australia's influence on international scientific research was today recognised by Thomson Scientific, a leading provider of information solutions to the worldwide research and business communities, as it gave Citation Awards to ten of the most pre-eminent researchers working in Australia. According to Thomson Scientific data, in 2007 Australia ranked among the top ten nations for the influence of its scientific papers.

The event, which took place at the National Press Club in Canberra, is part of a series of Asia Pacific Research Days hosted by Thomson Scientific. These events recognise research excellence in countries and regions demonstrating they are leading the world through innovation in their respective fields. Similar events have taken place previously in countries including China, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

The ten Australian recipients of the Thomson Scientific Citation Awards, each based at a different organisation throughout the country, were selected using a quantitative process which identifies the average number of citations per paper their published research has over a period of time. This, in turn, reflects its impact and influence on the given subject and the importance attached to it by subsequent research. The wide range of subject areas covered -- from astronomy and astrophysics to economics and psychiatry -- is an illustration of the strength of academic research within Australia and a reflection of the innovation inherent among the country's scientists.

The recipients of the 2008 Thomson Scientific Citation Awards are as follows:

-- Dr Stuart Batten (Chemistry) -- Monash University. Has developed an international reputation in the area of crystal engineering, particularly coordination polymers. Is also an expert on the phenomenon of the interpretation of networks in crystal structures and in the analysis of the topology of network solids. -- Professor Paul Chandler (Education) -- University of Wollongong. Research interests are in the area of cognition and instructional and developing innovative approaches to learning, based on the increasing knowledge of cognition. A strong advocate of improving Indigenous outcomes in education and health, he has worked on a wide array of community education initiatives. -- Professor Suzanne Cory (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) -- Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. One of Australia's most distinguished molecular biologists who focuses on the regulation of cell death by the Bcl-2 family, with the objective of developing more effective cancer therapeutics. -- Professor Don Harding (Economics) -- LaTrobe University. Main research interests are macroeconomics and econometrics and focuses on the business cycle. Co-creator of a widely used and highly accurate monthly measure of Australian inflation. -- Professor Terence Hughes (Marine and Freshwater Biology) -- James Cook University. Has broad research interests in ecology, marine biology and the social-ecological dynamics of coral reefs. Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence and Leader of Program 5: Resilience of linked social-ecological systems. -- Professor Anthony Jorm (Psychiatry) -- Orygen Research Centre and University of Melbourne. Current research focuses on public knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders, and particularly on interventions to improve the public's helpfulness towards people developing mental disorders. He is the author of 12 books/monographs, over 300 journal articles and over 25 chapters in edited volumes. -- Dr William James Peacock (Plant Sciences) -- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Appointed Australian Chief Scientist in 2006, Jim Peacock is an award winning molecular biologist and eminent researcher in the field of plant molecular biology and its applications in agriculture. Played a key role in the establishment of cotton as Australia's first highly successful biotech crop. -- Professor Brian Schmidt (Astronomy and Astrophysics) -- Australian National University. Studies the universe, using exploding stars and is leading Mount Stromlo's effort to build the SkyMapper telescope, a new facility that will provide a comprehensive digital map of the southern sky from ultraviolet through near infrared wavelengths. -- Dr Ian Wright (Ecology) -- Macquarie University. Research focuses on quantifying how key plant traits vary with each other and with environmental factors, both in Australia and worldwide. Helped convene the ARC-NZ Research Network for Vegetation Function, which aims to stimulate research across disciplines such as functional genomics, ecophysiology, global change biology and evolutionary history. -- Professor Zheng-Xiang Li (Geosciences) - Curtin University of Technology. Specialises in study directed at understanding Earth's evolution over the last 1000 million years and related tectonic processes. His work is of particular interest to the petroleum industry and environmental/climactic studies, with a special focus in the West Pacific.

During the ceremony, Professor Margaret Sheil, CEO of Australian Research Council (ARC) spoke about the evaluation of the quality and outcomes of research. Her talk was responded to by Professor Stuart Cunningham, President of Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) and Professor Ken Baldwin, President of Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS).

The ceremony at the National Press Club also heard a keynote address from Professor Alan Robson AM, Chair of the Group of Eight and Vice Chancellor of the University of Western Australia. Professor Robson talked about Australia's strength in innovation and its contribution to global research. He emphasised the importance of basic research and exploring new options for assessing research quality. Other speakers included Mary Van Allen, Strategic Business Manager, Research Evaluation and Bibliometric Analysis, Thomson Scientific, who spoke about the Australian metrics and methodology for awardees.

Commenting on the Citation Awards, Jeroen Prinsen, Director of Australasia Sales, Thomson Scientific said, "We are delighted to have had the opportunity to bring together such a wealth of scientific talent. The breadth of areas honoured here today -- from cancer research to plant science, coral reefs and inflation -- is a reflection of the depth of Australian innovation in scientific research. It provides an ideal opportunity for the Australian research community to meet and consider the issues associated with the assessment and measurement of research quality."

About Thomson Scientific

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Note to Editors:

Methodology in the selection of candidates for the Australian Research Day

This exploration of Australian research began with a review of those fields that dominate research papers written in Australian institutions. The next step was to consider individuals who contribute to those fields. All Australian-affiliated authors, with papers published between 1997 and 2007, in Thomson Scientific-indexed journals were reviewed. Statistics such as total publications, total citations, average cites per paper were gathered by field and individual. The measurements of average citations per paper (CPP) and total citation counts were selected to use as thresholds. The researchers chosen had the highest average citation rate per paper in their field over a citation threshold per field. Because field activity can vary widely, adjustments were made in the threshold levels for each field to eliminate false leads and focus on those researchers with substantial and long-term contributions.

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Jane Thomson,, or Luke Roberts, both of Cape Public Relations for Thomson Scientific, +61-2-66-872-803; Pamela Lim of Thomson Scientific, +65-6879-4117,