ISIHighlyCited.com calls itself "an expert gateway to the most highly influential scientists and scholars worldwide," using similar techniques to Google's PageRank to identify these intellectual leaders.
This free search tool makes it easy to identify individuals, departments and laboratories that have made fundamental contributions to the advancement of science and technology over the past several decades.
The site is part of the ISI Web of Science, a division of information provider Thomson ISI. How is it similar to Google? It uses citation analysis, the study of references in scholarly papers, to identify the people behind the accomplishments in 21 broad subject categories in life sciences, medicine, physical sciences, engineering and social sciences.
Citation analysis was pioneered by Eugene Garfield, who started ISI in 1958. Google's PageRank algorithm uses many of the same techniques involved in citation analysis to get a sense of the most important pages on the web, based on the number and quality of links pointing to them.
ISIHighlyCited.com plans to include the top 250 preeminent individual researchers in 21 subject categories who have demonstrated great influence in their field as measured by citations to their work. For each scientist, you can find the following information:
Biographical information: education, faculty and professional posts, memberships and/or offices, current research interests, and personal Web sites.
Full listing of publications: journal articles, book or book chapters, conference proceedings, web sites and other Internet resources.
Bibliography with links to the full bibliographic information indexed in the ISI Web of Science.
ISIHighlyCited is similar to ResearchIndex, an academic computer science search engine that also does a lot of extensive citation analysis. Both tools are excellent resources for tracking research trends through literature references.
To learn more about citation analysis and how it reveals useful information about who's who and what's what, see the article "How Does ISI Identify Highly Cited Researchers?"
The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine
The original paper describing Google, "a prototype of a large-scale search engine which makes heavy use of the structure present in hypertext," written by co-founders Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page and presented at the Seventh International World Wide Web Conference.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.