Dr Sandun J. Perera, a senior lecturer in Biogeography, Biodiversity and Conservation Science attached to the Department of Natural Resources, received the “President’s Award for Scientific Publication, for the year 2015” on the 6th of November 2017, for the research paper he co-authored entitled “Global hotspots in the present-day distribution of ancient animal and plant lineages” published in the refereed journal Scientific Reports published by the Nature Publishing Group.Criteria for his selection for the President’s Award was cited as “being an author of a publication in the top 10% of Science Citation Index (SCI) Expanded journals, ranked on their Impact Factor under each journal category based on SCI categorization of journals”.
This award scheme, managed by the National Research Council of Sri Lanka, is based on the SCI, which is an annually updated database of the world’s scientific periodicals. The SCI analyses hundreds of thousands of research papers in more than 8500 journals across 150 odd disciplines each year, counting how many times papers published in each journal is cited in other journals. Such statistics are used to develop a measure of the quality of each journal based on its impact to the development of science, called the Impact Factor of a journal. Nevertheless it is unavoidable that different disciplines have widely differing Impact Factors for their journals, based on the mere numbers of research being published in each discipline. So that the top 10% of journals in the SCI, ranked on their Impact Factor under each journal category based on SCI categorization of scientific disciplines is published annually. The President’s award is hence recognising the scientific contribution made by Sri Lankan scientists who achieve a publication in those top 10% journals in each category.
Scientific Reports having an Impact Factor of 5.228 in 2015 is among the top 10% multidisciplinary natural science journals for that year and hence Dr. Perera who published a paper in that journal is recognised for being among top 10% publishing authors for that category in the given year.