Essential Science IndicatorsSM Notices

Version 2.0
This file was last updated on January 14, 2016.

Current Product Source Dates

The Essential Science IndicatorsTM database from Thomson Reuters has been updated as of January 14, 2016 to cover an 10-year plus 10-month period, January 1, 2005-October 31, 2015 (fifth bimonthly period of 2015). Data is updated bimonthly (six times a year). This is the fifth bimonthly period of 2015.


Thresholds for Essential Science Indicators (updated January 2016)

For your convenience, we have placed the Thresholds for Essential Science Indicators in at-a-glance files.

Known Issues (May 2015)

         Some papers are displaying author names twice. It should be noted that this is a display issue only and does not impact citation counts or rankings. ESI on InCites is not affected. The issue is expected to be resolved in the July 2015 update.

November 2014

The data error reported for the third bimonthly update of 2014, in which records for CONGO PEOPLES REPUBLIC were mistakenly unified to the records for CONGO DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, is now corrected.

Data Error (September 2014)

For the third bimonthly update of 2014, records for CONGO PEOPLES REPUBLIC were mistakenly unified to the records for CONGO DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC. This error will be corrected in the fourth bimonthly update, which will be published in November. No other countries were affected by this issue.

Data Changes (May 16, 2014)

After the Essential Science Indicators data was updated on May 8, 2014, a data processing error was uncovered which had caused an inflation of paper and cite counts for institutions and countries. This has now been corrected. We are implementing additional quality control procedures to ensure that a situation like this does not happen again.

This update also includes a correction to the prior update, which was posted in March 2014, whereby cites derived from papers in journals which do not have an ESI category were excluded and citing data was not collected for the full period. The impact of this change is that the citation thresholds are now higher, resulting in fewer entities in the lists compared with the prior update. However, relative positions of entities would not have shown any significant change.

White Paper on ESI Data Processing


The Research Analytics team has published a white paper relating to the new data parameters and procedures used in ESI. You can view the paper here:


Known Issues (March 2014)


The ESI data management team is working to resolve the following issues:


1. Conversion of Essential Science Indicators data to the new data factory inadvertently truncated some address and country information for papers. We are aware of these issues and are working on a fix to appear in a pending bimonthly update.

2. Data feed issues dealing with searching have been fixed; however, some problems still remain. The team is investigating application issues related to these problems, and will employ a fix in future updates.


Data Changes (February 2014)


ESI is now processed using the same data factory that is used to process other InCites data, and is derived directly from the current Web of Science (WOS) data factory. Using this system ensures that the data is more in line with other Thomson Reuters products.

The following describes the changes in ESI that come as a result of this switch. Any data changes observed in the product will be the result of an aggregation of these factors; no one change can explain an observed difference in the product.

1. Corrections to WOS will feed automatically to ESI, and corrections will display at the next ESI update from when they were made to WOS.

2. Publication year is now used instead of database year: the change to publication year for citations and indicators makes the ESI data more transparent for customers. This is a change customers have requested repeatedly over the years. Because of this shift, the distribution of document and citation counts will change, but the data will be relatively more stable in the long run.

3. Journal classifications are determined by the Editorial team, who also determine the classifications in all other TR products. In addition, during the handoff, all journals were reviewed and their classifications were updated as needed. Multidisciplinary papers are reclassified using the same algorithm as InCites (cited items only). For more information, please see InCites Help.

4. Institutional unification is now being handled through the same system used for other InCites products as well as WOS. This system contains more robust address unification/normalization, and representations should be consistent with the WOS Organization Enhanced functionality. In addition, aggregate system values have been introduced to ESI. Users will now see systems in addition to individual schools in the rankings/results lists.

5. Handling of group authors: Previously, some group authors were included in the ESI author lists. Under this system, group authors will not appear in these lists unless there are no individual contributors listed for a given paper.

6. Country/Territory names: the names used for the countries and territories in ESI are now aligned with those used for other InCites products. For example, GERMANY is now listed as GERMANY (FED REP GER) to reflect the country's official name of Federal Republic of Germany. Also, PEOPLES R CHINA has been changed to CHINA MAINLAND, and results reflect all data from addresses in the mainland part of China.

Interface Application Error (February 2014)

Conversion of Essential Science Indicators data to the new data factory inadvertently truncated some address and country information for papers. We are aware of these issues and are working on a fix to appear in a pending bimonthly update.


Please pardon our dust major renovation in progress!


You asked for changes and we listened. We think you are going to appreciate the improvements we are making to Essential Science Indicators. We know you expected a data update on January 2, but we have something bigger and better in development for you. On February 7, 2014, the Essential Science Indicators and Journal Citation Reports products will move and will now be supported on the InCites platform.


This move to the InCites platform includes a new interface, which has new features and capabilities our subscribers have requested over time. The current interfaces for ESI and JCR will still be available, but the enhanced reporting and functionality will only be available with the new interface.


You may notice some changes in ESI data with this upgrade, chief of which is that we have switched from database year to publication year at the request of our subscribers. In addition, we are using the same unification system employed by InCites and Web of Science, so institution data is now more consistent across our products. This is part of a larger initiative to provide our customers with a single environment for research and bibliometric assessment and evaluation, to provide better support for customers' long-term vision, and keep customers informed of the latest trends with a multifaceted view from a single destination. Users will soon be able to move seamlessly from Research Analytics to Web of Science to perform detailed analytics and confirm data accuracy.


If you are interested in upgrading to the next generation of InCites, please contact your institution's representative.


Please check back for further information about webinar training sessions.


Data Correction: CSIRO (November 2013)

Past variant mapping resulted in an undercount of CSIRO papers in prior updates. As of the November 2013 update (fourth bimonthly period) there has been a change made to the variant mapping for CSIRO to account for the discrepancy. Thomson Reuters would like to apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.


Programming Error: (October 18, 2011)

We have recently uncovered two database errors in Essential Science Indicators that caused some 400,000 papers, or approximately 4% of the 10-year file, to be omitted from processing. The omitted papers are largely from 2008-2010. Primarily the problem involved a new form of an article identifier that was not recognized by our program.

The program for processing these data in Essential Science Indicators is now being corrected, and the missing articles will be loaded in the next bimonthly update.

We apologize for any inconvenience these errors have caused and appreciate your patience as we get the corrections implemented.

UPDATE: As of the January 2012 data upload, the corrections have been implemented.


Programming Error: Exclusion of a Highly Cited Paper (May 2010)

Due to a programming error, the following paper was not listed as a Highly Cited Paper in the field of Chemistry in the first bimonthly update (2010) to Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters:

"Insertion of Isocyanides, Isothiocyanates, and Carbon Monoxide into the Pd-C Bond of Cyclopalladated Complexes Containing Primary Arylalkylamines of Biological and Pharmaceutical Significance, Synthesis of Lactams and Cyclic Amidinium Salts Related to the Isoquinoline, Benzo[g]isoquinoline, and beta-Carboline Nuclei," Vicente J, Saura-Llamas I, Garcia-Lopez JA, Bautista D, Organometallics 28(2): 448-464, 26 January 2009. 10 cites in the first bimonthly period.

Thomson Reuters would like to apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused. The data will be properly rectified and reflected in the second bimonthly update, appearing in July 2010, provided this paper once again meets the citation threshold.


Programming Error: Institute of Psychiatry of Kings College London (May 2008)

Due to a programming error, the papers authored by members of the Institute of Psychiatry of Kings College London were not properly credited to the college in the first bimonthly update (2008) to Essential Science IndicatorsSM. Therefore, the data presented in the table below should be considered the correct citation data for the database period of January 1, 1998 to February 29, 2008. Thomson Reuters would like to apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused. The data will be properly rectified and reflected in the second bimonthly update, appearing in July 2008.




Cites per paper

Displayed rank

Adjusted rank

Agricultural Sciences






Biology & Biochemistry












Clinical Medicine






Computer Science






Economics & Business






























Materials Science


















Molecular Biology & Genetics












Neuroscience & Behavior






Pharmacology & Toxicology












Plant & Animal Science












Social Sciences, general






Space Science







Combined Editorial Content (February 2008)

Beginning in mid-February 2008,,, and the 1997-2007 online version of the Science Watch newsletter from Thomson Reuters will all be available on the newly redesigned There you will find all of your favorite features all under one roof.

All previous content from the three sites will be permanently archived, and remain accessible at their original locations. Any existing bookmarks to the archived pages will still function. No new content will be added to any of the three archived sites.

You may access the old archived sites anytime at:

         ESI-Special Topics

         The Science Watch Newsletter Archives

Upgrade Information (September 2005)

As of September 2005, Essential Science Indicators has a new, redesigned interface and a more intuitive layout. In addition, many user-requested enhancements have been introduced to improve functionality and ease of use.

         New Features

         System News

         Product News (Source Dates)

         System-Related Issues

         Browser-Related Issues

         Thomson Scientific Customer Technical Support

New Features

         The Country search feature is now called Country/Territory (or Countries/Territories where appropriate).

         From the Rankings page for Scientist, Institution, Journal, or Country/Territory, you can now display items that have a specific number of citations, papers, or citations per paper. The default value is zero, but you can change this value to 5, 10, 15, and so on.

         New search fields have been added to the Hot Papers and Highly Cited Papers menus. You can now search by Scientist, Institution, Journal, Country/Territory, and Title word.

         The AND Boolean operator works in Title word searches (Hot Papers and Highly Cited Papers) and Topic word searches (Research Fronts). The OR Boolean operator works in Topic word searches.

         The Percentiles page now displays a 20.00% row and a 50.00% row, in addition to the 0.01%, 0.10%, 1.00%, and 10.00% rows.

         A third page of statistics (By Field Rankings) was added to the Baselines Menu. This page (Field Rankings table) lists the 22 fields and gives the total citations, papers, and citations per paper for each field.

         You can now view statistical information in graphic format or table format for Top Papers for Scientists, Institutions, Journals, and Countries/Territories.

         You can now view the Hot Papers Graph in table format. It also shows the number of citations (by bi-monthly period) for a particular field.

         A new Hot Papers graph is available from the Hot Papers page that shows the Number of Citations (by year) for a selected paper. You can also view this data in table format.

         The color of the graph bars on the graph pages have been changed from red to gray.

         When viewing the Field Rankings for a particular scientist, institution, country/territory, or journal, clicking on the field name (or All Fields) takes you to the Scientist, Institution, Country/Territory, or Journal Rankings page of that field (or All Fields).

         An All Fields row of statistics appears on the Field Rankings page (last row in list) for an individual scientist, institution, country/territory, or journal giving the All Fields totals (citations, papers, and citations per paper) for that item.

         A Research Front button now appears on a specific Papers page indicating that the paper is in a Research Front. Click the button to go to a Rankings page for that Research Front.

         A Commentary button now appears on a specific Papers page indicating that the paper has an Editorial Comment in in-cites or Special Topics. Click the button to open a new window to the editorial item.

         A Hot Paper button now appears on a specific Papers page indicating that the paper is a Hot Paper. Click the button to go to the Hot Papers page to access its Bimonthly Citation graph.

         The name of the field (e.g., Chemistry) to which an individual paper is assigned appears on the Papers page in the Field column. This field name is linked to the specific ranking of that paper in its Field Ranking.

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System News

Any scheduled server maintenance that will cause the product to be unavailable will be announced in this section.

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System-Related Issues

Hyperlinks from the Papers List

The hyperlinks that appear on Papers pages (e.g., Hot Papers, Top Papers, Core Papers, and Highly Cited Papers) allow users to link directly to rankings for the scientists, institutions, countries/territories, and journals. Please note, however, that when entries are not linked it does not necessarily mean that there is no associated ranking. Rankings are best determined from the Rankings Menus.

Using Special Characters, Punctuation, and Stopwords

When a search query includes special characters, punctuation, or a stopword it may return no results or incomplete results. Try the same search excluding the special characters or stopwords. A complete list of stopwords can be accessed from the Index of the Help system.

Viewing Single Paper Graphs

When viewing single paper graphs and multipaper graphs, please keep in mind that the bar representing the current year will be affected by the number of bimonthly updates processed to date. Earlier in the year, the trend may appear to slow down, while close to the end of the year the trend displayed in the graph may appear to normalize according to the past citation rates of the selected item or items.

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Browser-Related Issues

Because of the large number of Safari releases, Thomson Scientific has not been able to test them all extensively. Some issues may arise with this browser.

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Thomson Scientific Customer Technical Support

If you have questions about Essential Science Indicators, contact Thomson Scientific Customer Technical Support. Technical support representatives can answer questions about the data, as well as questions about appropriate search and retrieval techniques. Questions about network connections and/or the use of your Web browser should be directed to your Network Administrator.

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