Highly-cited physical activity researcher named one in one thousand

23 November 2022

He's officially one in one thousand.

Renowned CQUniversity physical activity researcher Professor Corneel Vandelanotte has entered the prestigious international Clarivate 'Highly Cited Researcher' ranks for 2022.

The accolade means Professor Vandelanotte is being cited more than 99.9 per cent than of other researchers in his field' anywhere in the world.

"Being in the top 0.1 per cent of your field is quite something else'" Professor Vandelanotte said.

Professor Vandelanotte said he was ecstatic to be positioned so highly in the Clarivate ranks.

"The feeling is a combination of being happy' feeling proud and not believing it – it is sort of mind blowing'" he said.

"Then off course there is also the realisation that my work is really making an impact and making a difference – that's so cool' as ultimately that's why we do it.

"I should also point out' that in reality this is not only my achievement' it is also an achievement of a whole team' of my collaborators with whom I publish' many who also work at CQU and who have all written highly-cited papers as lead authors where I was named as a co-author."

Professor Vandelanotte said there were many variables that determined one's quality as a researcher and being highly cited was just one.

Adding to his repertoire' Professor Vandelanotte was also this week listed as an Elsevier 2022 World's Top 2 percent scientist' according to a Stanford University study which ranks researchers based on bibliometric information.

Professor Vandelanotte has a distinguished research career' having published 270 peer-reviewed journal articles to date with a publication record' number of citations and h-index among the highest at CQUniversity.

His research speciality is in physical activity – an area he has had interest in since a young boy.

"When I was in high school I wanted to study either biology' philosophy or physical education (PE)'" he explained.

"I chose the latter because I didn't think I was smart enough for the other two – my grades at high school weren't exactly promising to go to uni at all … but against a lot of advice I did it anyway.

"It turned out' when studying PE' I wasn't all that good with all the practical stuff' but I nailed the theory. In my final year there was a lecturer with whom I could do a research project on physical activity for my master thesis which I liked a lot … she was impressed with my work and asked me to do a PhD in the same area' I never looked back and the rest is history!"

Just prior to joining CQUniversity in 2009' Professor Vandelanotte worked at the University of Queensland and secured an National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded post-doctoral fellowship.

"I remember listing 16 publications on my fellowship application' which at the time hadn't been cited a lot' so it's fair to say that my rise to being a highly cited researcher has happened at CQU'" he recalled.

Beyond writing research papers and gathering citations' the Belgium-born Rockhampton 'local' is leading the highly successful 10'000 Steps program.

"The program has registered nearly 600'000 members who have logged a total of 330 billion steps'" Professor Vandelanotte said.

"Since 2020 (COVID)' engagement with the program increased a lot and 180 000 new members have registered (about 5000 per month) who log three billion steps per month and 4500 new organisations have been involved with the implementation of the program."

Professor Vandelanotte is also funded by the NHMRC' the Australian Research Council and the National Heart Foundation to develop and evaluate a state-of-the-art virtual coach using advanced machine learning algorithms to support people being active.

"That is a big' exciting' innovative and challenging project of which the long journey has only just begun."