Korea University: Professors Lee Jong-wha and Ok Yong-sik named most cited researchers in Korea

The National Research Foundation of Korea released a report on the top 1% of papers from major research countries published in 2009–2019. According to this report, the most cited researchers in Korea were Professor Lee Jong-wha of the Department of Economics at Korea University, Professor Ok Yong-sik of the Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering at Korea University, Professor Choi Wan of KAIST in the field of computer science, and Professor Hong Byung-hee of Seoul National University in physics.

Professor Ok was the corresponding author of the highly cited paper in environmental science, which was authored by students and post-doctoral researchers at the same university. Published in the international journal Chemosphere, the paper established theories for applications of biochar, an innovative material that shows promise for helping achieve carbon neutrality. It has been cited 3,000 times since 2014 according to Google Scholar, and in 2021 was named the most cited environmental science paper in Korea. (* See more : Yong Sik Ok – Google Scholar)




Professor Ok has an h-index of 114, and has recorded more than 15,000 citations in 2021 alone. Furthermore, as of 2022 he has reached the 50,000 citation milestone. An analysis by Elsevier showed that 95.1% of Professor Ok’s research involved international cooperation. He has published over 700 papers in the last 10 years, of which 87.0% were in the top 10% of environmental science journals. In 2019, he was selected as the No. 1 scholar in environmental science by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

As the first Asian co-editor-in-chief of Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology (CREST, 5-year IF 13), a world-renowned journal published by Taylor & Francis, Professor Ok is playing a leading role in ESG environmental pillar research. He became the first highly cited Korean researcher in environmental science in 2019. This year, he was a highly cited researcher in not only environmental science, but also engineering. Thanks to Professor Ok, Korea University hosted the world’s first ESG Nature forum, and will be jointly organizing the 2022 Global ESG Forum with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International ESG Association this August.

Professor Lee Jong-wha’s paper, co-authored by Professor Robert Barro of Harvard University, presents a new data set of global educational attainment. The authors were the first to compare educational attainment between countries in 1993, and they have since conducted several follow-up studies. In their 2013 paper, they constructed an educational attainment database of the 15~64 age group at 5-year age intervals covering 146 countries. It was published in the Journal of Development Economics, one of the world’s top journals in development economics.

Professor Lee has published over 100 English-language papers on economic growth, human capital, and macroeconomics in leading journals. He has been cited a total of 42,713 times based on Google Scholar (as of Jan. 20, 2022). In recognition of his academic excellence, he has received numerous awards such as the Korean Economic Association Chungram Award, Maekyung Economist Award, Dasan Economics Award, and Inchon Award. At present, he is serving as the Dean of the College of Political Science and Economics and the Dean of the Graduate School of Policy Studies.

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