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Hate speech, proteins and Bourdieu: These University of Copenhagen articles got cited — big time

Bibliometrics — Which scientific articles from the University of Copenhagen have been influential within their own field? We took a deep dive into some scientific citation numbers.

They are the unsung heroes, the scientists. Few of them are celebrities, and few of them are at the forefront of public debate. Toiling away on a specific subject, within a narrow topic, of a small field, they pursue their own interest for the good of all of us.

But then there are the citations.

When scientists cite each others’ work in their papers and articles, they mostly give credit to, and indirectly praise each other’s work. So much so, that a whole method called ‘bibliometrics’ analyzes these citations to unpack how a research field has developed.

READ ALSO: Top 10 most cited scientific articles from Denmark 2012-2021

Little wonder then, that researchers like it when they are cited. Little wonder that they like it even more when they are cited a lot. A citation is not just a ‘thumbs up’ from another scientist. Citations are used by universities and the agencies that fund them to assess researchers’ originality and impact.

There are however lots of reasons why citations are a really bad way to assess the relative value of a piece of research, and they are partly unpacked in this article here.

But a list that shows which articles are the most cited within each subject area can sometimes unearth topics that would otherwise go unrecognized and unreported. Like the article on hate speech detection on Twitter, that we found in our Humanities list. Or the STRING v11: Protein-protein association article on our Science list. Not to mention the article on the French sociologist Bourdieu that is still doing the rounds in the Law community.

The below list of articles has been extracted from the Scopus database on 12 December 2022. The methodology we used to extract the data is described in the fact box on the right.

Note: Subject areas on Scopus are not demarcated in the same way as University of Copenhagen faculties, so the list below is divided into broad subject areas, not University of Copenhagen faculties. This may disadvantage some University of Copenhagen articles with high citation numbers.

Note: Citation numbers cannot be compared between fields. Natural science subjects have, for example, an advantage over humanities and social science subjects on bibliometric databases like Scopus, partly due to many natural science articles having multiple co-authors. It is not possible on Scopus to separate Faculty of Theology subject-related publications.


What did we do

The list extracted data from the Scopus database’s analytical tool SciVal.

We filtered for ‘Publications‘ from the ‘University of Copenhagen’ in the date range ‘2012 to 2021‘ using the ASJC (All Science Journal Classification scheme) and extracted the data set for each of the 27 subject areas. We then assorted them into University of Copenhagen faculty groups and found the top three publications with the highest citations.

Our list includes ‘All publication types‘.

Thanks to Thea Marie Drachen, research librarian at the Library of the University of Southern Denmark, for her assistance in navigating SciVal.


Scopus Subject Area = Arts and Humanities


Article title and link: Hateful symbols or hateful people? predictive features for hate speech detection on Twitter University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Waseem, Z.| Hovy, D. Year of publication: 2016 Journal: HLT-NAACL 2016 – 2016 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Proceedings of the Student Research Workshop Citations: 721


Article title and link: Multilingual part-of-speech tagging with bidirectional long short-term memory models and auxiliary loss University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors:  Søgaard, A. Year of publication: 2016 Journal:  54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2016 – Short Papers Citations: 268


Article title and link: Deep multi-task learning with low level tasks supervised at lower layers University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Søgaard, A Year of publication: 2016 Journal: 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2016 – Short Papers Citations: 261

Social Science

Scopus Subject Areas = Decision Sciences, Business, Management and Accounting, Economics, Econometrics and Finance, Psychology, Social Sciences


Article title and link: The WHO-5 well-being index: A systematic review of the literature University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Topp, C.W.; Bech, Per Year of publication:  2015 Journal: Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics Citations: 1,505


Article title and link: Environmental Income and Rural Livelihoods: A Global-Comparative Analysis University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Smith-Hall, C. Year of publication: 2014 Journal: World Development Citations: 560


Article title and link: The open innovation research landscape: established perspectives and emerging themes across different levels of analysis University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Bogers, M.; Laursen, K. Year of publication: 2017 Journal: Industry and Innovation Citations: 514



Scopus Subject Area = ‘Law’ subcategory of ‘Social Sciences’  


Article title and link: Stigma management in international relations: Transgressive identities, norms, and order in international society University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Adler-Nissen, R. Year of publication: 2014 Journal: International Organization Citations: 233


Article title and link: Backlash against International Courts in West, East and Southern Africa: Causes and consequences University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Alter, K.J.| Helfer, L.R. Year of publication:  2016 Journal: European Journal of International Law Citations: 91


Article title and link: The force of law and lawyers: Pierre Bourdieu and the reflexive sociology of law University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors:  Madsen, M.R. Year of publication: 2012 Journal: Annual Review of Law and Social Science Citations: 90

Health and Medical Sciences

Scopus Subject Areas = Dentistry; Veterinary; Medicine; Neuroscience; Nursing; Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics; Health Professions; Immunology and Microbiology


Article title and link: Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Truelsen, Thomas Year of publication: 2012 Journal: The Lancet Citations: 9,745


Article title and link: Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990-2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Truelsen, Thomas Year of publication: 2012 Journal: The Lancet Citations: 6,234


Article title and link: Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 Diseases and Injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017  University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors:  Krarup Christensen, Hanne; Truelsen, Thomas  Year of publication: 2018 Journal: The Lancet Citations: 5,563


Scopus Subject Area = Physics and Astronomy; Agricultural and Biological Sciences; Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Computer Science; Earth and Planetary Sciences; Energy; Engineering; Environmental Science; Materials Science; Mathematics


Article title and link: A global reference for human genetic variation University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Wang, J. Year of publication: 2015 Journal: Nature Citations: 8,135


Article title and link: Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: 2961 co-authors, multiple from University of Copenhagen Year of publication: 2012 Journal: Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics Citations: 7,369


Article title and link: STRING v11: Protein-protein association networks with increased coverage, supporting functional discovery in genome-wide experimental datasets University of Copenhagen-affiliated author/co-authors: Junge, A.| Doncheva, N.T.| Jensen, L.J.  Year of publication: 2019 Journal: Nucleic Acids Research Citations: 7,043