Sioux Falls, SD—Researchers from Stanford Study have analyzed data from the mid-1990s through 2019, covering millions of scientists worldwide in all fields of science, and have created a public database of standardized citation metrics for the top scientists in the world. Scientists included have been classified into 22 scientific fields and 176 sub-fields.
Among those scientists: William S. Harris, Ph.D., FASN, Founder of OmegaQuant and President of the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI). In the list of nearly 160,000 scientists, Dr. Harris ranked 2164—the top 2% of scientists. In a press release from OmegaQuant, Dr. Harris reflected on how he made it to this position: “I was extremely lucky! At the very beginning of my career in the late 1970s, my mentor (Dr. Bill Connor, 8441 on the list) assigned me to study the effects of salmon oil on serum cholesterol levels. That was my introduction to omega-3 fatty acids, and largely because of the truly pioneering work of Jorn Dyerberg (35,635 on the list) in Greenland Inuits, the omega-3 field began to explode in the 1980s. I have simply ridden this horse since then and don’t plan to get off until they drag me off the saddle!”
The rankings provide standardized citation metrics, according to the study, which was published in PLOS Biology. Effectively, the purpose is to detail a scientist’s impact, in terms of how often their research has been cited. The researchers have provided rankings both including self-citations and excluding self-citations, and have provided data regarding frequency of self-citation.
The researchers warn that “assessing citation indicators always requires caution,” pointing out that there are fields with low citation densities, meaning that a top scientist in a given field may be nowhere near the top of the overall rankings.
The OmegaQuant press release states that Dr. Harris has been researching fatty acids for more than 40 years, and to date has published more than 300 papers on the topic. Since co-inventing the Omega-3 Index in 2004, it has been used in hundreds of other research papers. “We continue to build the evidence base for the importance of the Omega-3 Index in human health by working with some of the most prestigious research institutions in the world,” Dr. Harris said in the press release. “To date, we’ve worked with more than 100 of them including Harvard, Tufts, Columbia, Stanford, Oxford, and even the US Army.”
In 2020, Dr. Harris founded FARI, a non-profit research and education foundation that will focus entirely on high-quality research on the relationships between fatty acids and human and animal health outcomes. Dr. Harris explained that “these studies will improve our ability to predict risk for disease, and more importantly, suggest ways to reduce risk by changing our diets and/or supplementation regimens.”
Dr. Harris concluded: “This achievement is also a testimony to how important the identification of a biomarker like the Omega-3 Index was (and continues to be) as a stimulus to expanding research and publications in this field.”