, Volume 116, Issue 2, pp 1039–1053 | Cite as

A bibliometric analysis of highly cited papers in the field of Economics and Business based on the Essential Science Indicators database

  • Nan Zhang
  • Shanshan Wan
  • Peiling Wang
  • Peng Zhang
  • Qiang Wu


Based on the Essential Science Indicators database, this study analyzed 2140 highly cited papers (HCPs) in the field of Economics and Business from 4499 authors, 914 universities, and 64 countries/territories. From this data, three lists were created: the top 76 scientists, 50 most influential universities, and 33 most influential countries/territories. The results show that the USA is the global leader in Business and Economics with 1517 HCPs, ranking number 1. Also, 46 of the top scientists (60.5%), and 37 of the most influential universities (74%) are from the USA. This study also found: (1) the collaboration network among the top 76 scientists is not very close but a relatively tight sub-network with 13 top scientists has formed; (2) all 50 most influential universities are interconnected, and the cooperation between Harvard University and MIT was the strongest, producing 23 HCPs together; (3) the collaboration network among the most influential countries is quite close with a large network of 60 nodes and only four isolated nodes. In addition, this study demonstrates that significant positive correlations exist between authors’ HCP and h-index, between universities’ HCP and h-index, and between countries’ HCP and h-index. Since h-index is known to be a reliable indicator, these correlations indicate that when evaluating the academic impact of scholars, universities, and countries, the HCP approach is also considerably useful.


Highly cited papers Economics and Business Essential Science Indicators Bibliometric analysis Collaboration network h-Index Top scientists 



The present study is an extended version of an article presented at the 16th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics, Wuhan (China), 16–20 October 2017 (Wan et al. 2017). This research was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 71273250). We would like to thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions, which helped us to improve the paper.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina
  2. 2.School of Information SciencesUniversity of Tennessee at KnoxvilleKnoxvilleUSA

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