Song Gao | Global Highly Cited Researchers of 2022

We are delighted to announce that Song Gao is on this year’s list of Global Highly Cited Researchers of 2022 released by Web of Science, which analyzed all papers published and cited between 2011 and 2021, determining which authors ranked in the top 1% of cited papers. He is the only person from UW-Madison listed in the category of Social Sciences. Congratulations to Song, his students, and his colleagues!


Sixteen UW–Madison researchers were recently recognized on the Institute for Scientific Information™ list of Highly Cited Researchers 2022. The list identifies scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. 

Researchers are selected for their publication record in one or more of 21 fields (those used in the Essential Science Indicators™, or across several fields.  

Out of nearly 8M researchers in the world over the last decade, less than 1% have published multiple papers frequently cited by their peers that rank in the top 1% of citations for field and year.  

While there are some seasoned citers on the UW–Madison list, among those cited from UW-Madison is Song Gao, associate professor of geography, who has made the list for the first time.   

“This is my first time on this list and the only scholar who was named in the category of “Social Sciences” at UW–Madison, which increases the diversity and scope of representation of scholarly excellence for UW–Madison researchers,” Gao says. 

Gao has been cited more than 3,148 times in 2,381 publications.  

In the Geospatial Data Science Lab on campus, Gao’s research group conducts cutting-edge research during the life cycle of geospatial big data in order to understand complex human mobility patterns, human-environment interactions, and neighborhood disparity issues using spatial analytics. 

“Researchers usually use citation count as one metric among many to measure scholarly impacts in the domain and beyond,” Gao says. “It is very challenging to get such recognition for social scientists. This is super inspiring for young scholars like me, who just got tenure in the social science division this year. Being on this list could also help build my future cross-discipline collaborations and funding applications as proposal review panels sometimes look at applicants’ productivity and citation impact.”   

2022 UW–Madison Highly Cited Researchers: 

David Andes, professor of medicine and medical microbiology and immunology 

Neil Binkley, MD, professor of geriatrics and gerontology   

William W. Busse, MD, honorary associate fellow/professor emeritus of allergy and immunology 

Stephen Carpenter, honorary associate/fellow emeritus integrative biology 

Julien Clinton Sprott, professor emeritus of physics 

Richard Davidson, professor of psychology 

James A. Dumesic, emeritus professor of chemical and biological engineering 

Kevin Eliceiri, associate professor of medical physics 

Song Gao, associate professor of geography 

Simon Gilroy, professor of botany 

Quanyin Hu, assistant professor of pharmacy  

Song Jin, professor of chemistry 

John Ralph, professor of biochemistry 

Shannon S. Stahl, professor of chemistry 

Giulio Tononi, professor of psychiatry 

Zongfu Yu, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering