When ScienceWatch.com, a Thomson Reuters web resource for measuring and analyzing science trends, recently listed the most influential institutions and researchers in forensic science based on journal citations, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and one of its researchers, John Butler, were among the leaders.
According to a ScienceWatch.com survey of legal medicine and forensic science journal papers published and cited between 2001 and early 2011, NIST was cited 1,123 times, good for seventh place worldwide and second in the United States, trailing only the 1,309 count attributed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In terms of impact—the average annual number of citations in high-impact journals—NIST was tops among U.S. institutions and third globally with a ranking of 17.83. Ahead of NIST in this category were the University of Magdeburg (Germany) at 18.54 and the University of Vienna (Austria) at 18.03.
NIST chemist and DNA forensics expert John Butler was ranked as the number one "high-impact author in legal medicine and forensic science, 2001 to 2011" among authors who published 20 or more papers during the decade. Butler's 36 published papers were each cited an average of 27.8 times, slightly ahead of another U.S. scientist, Mechthild (Mecki) Prinz of New York City's Office of Chief Medical Examiner (26.0 average citations per paper). When authors were ranked by their H-index (a measure of both the productivity and impact of one's published work), Butler led all U.S. scientists and tied for fourth worldwide with a score of 17.