Wits has a proud history of research excellence dating back to its origins in 1922.
The University evolved out of a School of Mining and the focus on science, engineering and technology has persisted. However, over the years the University has seen a growth of research activity in the broad fields of humanities, social sciences and health sciences. In more recent years the edge that Wits has offered is a fairly unique mix of science, engineering and technology research with a strong culture of concern for social justice and equality. This puts the University in a good place to grapple with the complexities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This new revolution uses technology to enhance the cognitive abilities of humankind and therefore brings together the digital and the human spheres.
Over the last five years (2013-2017), according to Clarivate Analytics data the relative impact of Wits research when compared to global average shows that Wits has produced better than average in the broad fields of Engineering and Technology, Humanities, Medical and Health Science, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.
In this five year period Wits authors have published 11 012 peer reviewed research publications in Web of Science (ISI) indexed journals or books. Collectively these have attracted 61 549 citations. The Category Normalised Citation Impact for this research is 1.58, which is 58% above the global norm of one.
In a 37 year period (1980 to 2017) Wits has produced over 41 888 Web of Science publications that have been cited more than 563 498 times with a Category Normalised Citation Impact of 1.19 (the global average is 1). Over this time period 70% of papers produced were cited by others.