Articles on: Tutorials / Guides

Identifying Scientific Experts in a Field of Research

Identifying Scientific Experts in a Field of Research

In this walkthrough, we show you how scite can be used to quickly and reliably identify experts in specific areas of research.

This is particularly useful if:

You work in the research industry and are looking for experts in a specific field -- for example, to identify strategic hires or partners, find experts to serve as advisors / consultants in your work, and more.

You are an editor and are trying to find peer reviewers.

You are a student or a new researcher trying to understand the main contributors to a body of research.

…and more!

For the purposes of this walkthrough, let’s pretend we’re releasing a new drug that we believe has therapeutic benefits in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) and want to find investigators that might be interested in designing clinical trials to evaluate the drug’s efficacy. To help narrow things down, let’s also say that our imaginary drug works by modulating the immune system (e.g. it is an immune checkpoint inhibitor).

With scite, we can begin by performing a simple search for “hepatocellular carcinoma” in the search bar to find an initial set of publications. Notice that in the left panel there is a tab called “Authors”, which reveals the top authors in those results. Immediately we can see some of the top published authors in this area.

Figure 1. Search results for our initial query for publications related to “hepatocellular carcinoma”. We can see the top published authors in this set in the panel on the left.

But this is a fairly broad search. What if we were interested in authors who had experience designing / publishing clinical trials in this area? And more specifically had experience working with immune-based therapies in the context of this disease?

Easy! Let’s refine our search to “hepatocellular carcinoma clinical trial immune checkpoint” to find a slightly more relevant list of publications.

Figure 2. More refined search for publications related to clinical trials for hepatocellular carcinoma involving immune checkpoint-based therapies.

Now, we have some new results and an updated list of authors. Suppose we notice that there are some preprints which are being factored into each of the top author’s publication counts.

If we don’t have time to check each preprint and want to focus on peer-reviewed publications only, we can use the panel on the left and scrolling down, we can see the “Publication Types” panel. By selecting “Articles” only, we can guarantee that only peer reviewed articles show up.

Figure 3. A filter in the left part of the advanced search panel that allows you to filter by publication type.

With this filter applied, we now see the top 10 authors with peer reviewed articles focused on the immune therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma in clinical trials.

Figure 4. Top 10 authors from our search results for “hepatocellular carcinoma clinical trial immune checkpoint” with a filter applied to only get peer-reviewed research.

Great, so we have a manageable list of the top 10 authors in this area. Let’s see if we can build an intuition about them.

Let’s click on the checkbox to “Masatoshi Kudo”, since they seem to be fairly productive. Doing so reveals the publications they authored in this set.

Now we can take a glance at the “Editorial Notices” panel on the left to see if there is anything egregious, such as retractions. We can also narrow the results by the publication year to see if they’re involved in this space recently or if the papers are all older.

Figure 5. Counts of editorial notices for articles published by Masatoshi Kudo in our search parameters. There are no retracted studies, giving us confidence in drilling down further into their profile.

If an author’s name is in blue and underlined, you can click it to load their scite Researcher Profile. Suppose we were interested in Masatoshi Kudo as a potential investigator to lead our trials. Clicking their name opens their profile (

Figure 6. scite Researcher Profile for one of the top authors in our search parameters.

From here, we can see a snapshot of how they were cited by other publications to see how well supported or contrasted their findings are.

Underneath, we can also see a list of their publications in our system and order them by recency, relative support (or lack thereof) to quickly assess whether they might be a viable candidate to lead our trials.

By repeating this process, we can efficiently use scite’s Advanced Search and Researcher Profiles to build a list of potential investigators to design and lead clinical trials to evaluate our drug.

This is an incredibly powerful tool to speed up key business processes within your organization. To learn more about what you can do with scite, or to discuss buying an organization license, please reach out to us at

Updated on: 07/20/2021

Was this article helpful?

Share your feedback


Thank you!