Many researchers received false notifications they are ‘highly cited researchers’ for 2016

Clarivate Analytics, which last month bought Thomson Reuters’ intellectual property and science business, has apologised after an embarrassing mix-up earlier this month. The company mistakenly sent out emails to researchers incorrectly announcing that they had been named as highly cited researchers – defined as those in the top 1% by citations for their field and publication year in Web of Science.

The erroneous emails even contained a link to request a ‘highly cited researchers 2016 certificate’, according to the Retraction Watch blog. But only hours later many of the scientists who had received the emails were contacted again and told that the notification had been in error.

‘There were a number of people who received the letter in error,’ Clarivate said in a statement. Clarivate blamed the mistake on an internal error with its email system. ‘It was corrected quickly and we emailed apologies to those who received the incorrect email,’ Clarivate said, but the company refused to comment on exactly how many researchers wrongly received the email.