Standardizing the Evaluation of Scientific and Academic Performance in Neurosurgery-Critical Review of the "h" Index and its Variants
ABSTRACT Assessing the academic impact and output of scientists and physicians is essential to the academic promotion process and has largely depended on peer review. The inherent subjectivity of peer review, however, has led to an interest to incorporate objective measures into more established methods of academic assessment and promotion. Journal impact factor has been used to add objectivity to the process but this index alone does not capture all aspects of academic impact and achievement. The "h" index and its variants have been designed to compensate for these shortcomings, and have been successfully used in the fields of physics, mathematics, and biology, and more recently in medicine. Leaders in academic neurosurgery should be aware of the advantages offered by each of these indices, as well as of their individual shortcomings, to be able to efficiently use them to refine the peer-review process. This review critically analyzes indices that are currently available to evaluate the academic impact of scientists and physicians. These indices include the total citation count, the total number of papers, the impact factor, as well as the "h" index with eight of its most common variants. The analysis focuses on their use in the field of academic neurosurgery, and discusses means to implement them in current review processes.
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ABSTRACT: Research-oriented cancer hospitals in the United States treat and study patients with a range of diseases. Measures of disease specific research productivity, and comparison to overall productivity, are currently lacking. Different institutions are specialized in research of particular diseases. To report disease specific productivity of American cancer hospitals, and propose a summary measure. We conducted a retrospective observational survey of the 50 highest ranked cancer hospitals in the 2013 US News and World Report rankings. We performed an automated search of PubMed and Clinicaltrials.gov for published reports and registrations of clinical trials (respectively) addressing specific cancers between 2008 and 2013. We calculated the summed impact factor for the publications. We generated a summary measure of productivity based on the number of Phase II clinical trials registered and the impact factor of Phase II clinical trials published for each institution and disease pair. We generated rankings based on this summary measure. We identified 6076 registered trials and 6516 published trials with a combined impact factor of 44280.4, involving 32 different diseases over the 50 institutions. Using a summary measure based on registered and published clinical trails, we ranked institutions in specific diseases. As expected, different institutions were highly ranked in disease-specific productivity for different diseases. 43 institutions appeared in the top 10 ranks for at least 1 disease (vs 10 in the overall list), while 6 different institutions were ranked number 1 in at least 1 disease (vs 1 in the overall list). Research productivity varies considerably among the sample. Overall cancer productivity conceals great variation between diseases. Disease specific rankings identify sites of high academic productivity, which may be of interest to physicians, patients and researchers.PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0121233. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0121233 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Object The application of bibliometric techniques to academic neurosurgery has been the focus of several recent publications. The authors provide here a detailed analysis of all active pediatric neurosurgeons in North America and their respective departments. Methods Using Scopus and Google Scholar, a bibliometric profile for every known active pediatric neurosurgeon in North America was created using the following citation metrics: h-, contemporary h-, g-, and e-indices and the m-quotient. Various subgroups were compared. Departmental productivity from 2008 through 2013 was measured, and departments were ranked on the basis of cumulative h- and e-indices and the total number of publications and citations. Lorenz curves were created, and Gini coefficients were calculated for all departments with 4 or more members. Results Three hundred twelve pediatric neurosurgeons (260 male, 52 female) were included for analysis. For the entire group, the median h-index, m-quotient, contemporary h-, g-, and e-indices, and the corrected g- and e-indices were 10, 0.59, 7, 18, 17, 1.14, and 1.01, respectively; the range for each index varied widely. Academic pediatric neurosurgeons associated with fellowship programs (compared with unassociated neurosurgeons), academic practitioners (compared with private practitioners), and men (compared with women) had superior measurements. There was no significant difference between American and Canadian pediatric neurosurgeons. The mean Gini coefficient for publications was 0.45 (range 0.18-0.70) and for citations was 0.53 (range 0.25-0.80). Conclusions This study represents the most exhaustive evaluation of academic productivity for pediatric neurosurgeons in North America to date. These results should serve as benchmarks for future studies.Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics 10/2014; DOI:10.3171/2014.8.PEDS1488 · 1.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bradford's law describes the number of core journals in a given field or subject and has recently been applied to neurosurgery. The objective of this study was to use currently accepted formulations of Bradford's law to identify core journals of pediatric neurosurgery. An additional analysis was completed to compare regional dependence on citation density among North American and European neurosurgeons.Child s Nervous System 08/2014; 30(10). DOI:10.1007/s00381-014-2481-9 · 1.16 Impact Factor