IMB researcher tops world list

11 Jun 2003

Queensland's reputation as the Smart State has been further enforced with a researcher from the University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) rating as one of the world's most cited authors.

The US based Institute for Science Information identified Director of IMB's Office of Public Policy and Ethics Professor Wayne Hall as one of the foremost experts in his research field and ranked him in the top 0.5 percent of publishing authors worldwide over the last 20 years.

As the single Queensland researcher and one of only 50 Australians listed, Professor Hall said it was very encouraging and gratifying to find that his work in the fields of addiction, mental health and public policy had been so widely cited.

"Essentially, this high number of citations suggests that researchers in this field and its related disciplines are taking more interest, despite it being in a relatively small and specialised niche," Professor Hall said.

"Publishing in high impact and reputable journals such as Lancet, British Medical Journal and The Medical Journal of Australia has certainly helped the profile of my work and the work done here in Australia."

IMB Director Professor John Mattick said the number of times a paper is cited is a key measure of academic influence.

"Many of today's scientific truths can be traced back to key papers which act as a framework for the development of new ideas," Professor Mattick said.

"Important papers influence more researchers and consequently the number of citations increases. Being in the top 0.5 percent of published authors indicates that Professor Hall's research findings have shaped world thinking in the field of addiction, mental health and public policy.

"We are confident that his work on the ethical implications of the new genetics and biotechnology will attract similar interest."

Professor Hall's research interests lie in the fields of the genetics of addiction and mental disorders and the policy implications of cancer genetics and its treatment. He also monitors and provides expert input on contemporary issues including embryonic stem cells and cloning.

The Office of Public Policy and Ethics is an integral component of the IMB, one of Australia's leading bioscience research institutes.