Each grail area is defined by a set of keywords and commonly used phrases that are used in research and review articles in that field.
This search query was then used to acquire publication and citation datasets from bibliographic databases for the time period 1995–2020. These included Clarivate’s Web of Science and a database containing sampled bibliographic data of high impact chemistry journals.
The 20 papers with most citations in each dataset (from 1995–2020) are plotted as a line chart. This includes both reviews and original research articles (except in the case of C–H bond activation). The lines show the cumulative total citations for each paper in each year.
This chart shows the 500 most cited articles according to Web of Science, cross-referenced with the RSC database to obtain location information. The location used is that of the corresponding author or, where this is not defined, the last author. Each point represents a paper, appearing in the year it was published with a size relative to its total number of citations by 2020. The line graph below the map tracks the number of most-cited papers published each year.
Each node is a researcher and each line connects researchers that have cited each other. The size of each node indicates the number of citations and each node is coloured according to the earliest instance of a citation in the 1995–2020 dataset. The publications dataset is used to define a citation link by pairing each author of a paper with each author of the papers cited in that paper. For ease of interpretation, a cutoff is applied to show only the top 300 authors (by number of times cited; per paper, not by author) and their 10 strongest links.
The Holy Grails of chemistry were first published, 25 years ago, in Accounts of Chemical Research. You can find that issue here. In 2017, they returned to update, refine and add new research areas to the list.
We’d like to thank Tamara Polajnar and Colin Batchelor from the RSC’s data science team for their immense efforts gathering and manipulating the data, and Lea Lipitakis, Amy Bourke-Waite, Lisa Hulme and Rebecca Hatjoullis of Clarivate for their help with Web of Science