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: The relationship between metrics, such as the h-index, and the ability of researchers to generate funding has not been previously investigated in neurosurgery. This study was performed to determine if a correlation exists between bibliometrics and NIH funding data among academic neurosurgeons. The h-index, m-quotient, g-index, and contemporary h-index (hc) were determined for 1,225 academic neurosurgeons from 99 (of 101) departments. Two databases were used to create the citation profiles; Google Scholar (GS) and Scopus. The NIH RePORTER tool was accessed to obtain career grant funding amount, grant number, year of first grant award, and calendar year of grant funding. Of the 1,225 academic neurosurgeons, 182 (15%) had at least one grant with a fully reported NIH award profile. Bibliometric indices were all significantly higher for those with NIH funding compared to those without NIH funding (p<0.001). The contemporary h-index was found to be significantly predictive of NIH funding (p<0.001). All bibliometric indices were significantly associated with the total number of grants, total award amount, year of first grant, and duration of grants in calendar years (bivariate correlation, p<0.001) except for the association of m-quotient with year of first grant (p=0.184). Bibliometric indices are higher for those with NIH funding compared to those without, but only the contemporary h-index was shown to be predictive of NIH funding. Among neurosurgeons with NIH funding, higher bibliometric scores were associated with greater total amount of funding, number of grants, duration of grants and earlier acquisition of their first grant.World Neurosurgery 11/2013; · 1.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective assessment of academic productivity is useful for residency programs. This study aims to analyze the number of publications and Hirsch index (h index) among radiation oncology residents. Names of residents during the 2010 academic year (n = 607) were collected from the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology 2010 Directory. Number of publications and h index from Jan. 1996 to Feb. 2012 were collected from a bibliographic database (SCOPUS, Elsevier, BV, Amsterdam, NL). Analysis of h index included stratification by gender, residency size, and postresidency private practice or academic employment. Six hundred seven residents, 67 % men and 33 % women, had an overall mean h index of 2.5 ± 3.2. Graduates in academia exhibited a higher mean h index (3.9 ± 0.30) compared to private practice (2.0 ± 0.25; p < 0.01). Gender, residency size, and post-graduate position remained correlates of h index (all p ≤ 0.01). Women had lower mean h index and number of publications than men (2.1 ± 2.3 vs 2.7 ± 3.5, 4.5 ± 5.3 vs 6.2 ± 8.0, respectively; both p < 0.05). However, when stratified by current position (resident, private practice, or academic), there were no significant differences in h index by gender. The mean ± SD h indices for institutions comprising the top 10 % ranged 4.17 ± 3.2-5.25 ± 5.4 while the bottom 10 % ranged 0.0 ± 0.0-0.75 ± 1.4. The h index is a useful metric to assess residents' early dedication to scholarly endeavors. Female radiation oncology residents had fewer total publications and slightly lower h indices, warranting accessible research avenues and environments for future female physician-scientists. The application of the h index provides a reference for medical students, residents, residency program directors, and many others to gauge academic performance and establish appropriate benchmarks.Journal of Cancer Education 07/2013; · 0.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar are three major sources which provide h-indices for individual researchers. In this study we aimed to compare the h-indices of the academic pediatricians of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences obtained from the above mentioned sources. Academic pediatrician who had at least 5 ISI indexed articles entered the study. Information required for evaluating the h-indices of the included researchers were retrieved from official websites Web of Science (WOS), Scopus, and Google Scholar (GS). Correlations between obtained h-indices from the mentioned databases were analyzed using Spearrman correlation coefficient. Ranks of each researcher according to each database h-index were also evaluated. In general, 16 pediatricians entered the study. Computed h-indices for individual authors were different in each database. Correlations between obtained h-indices were: 0.439 (ISI and Scopus), 0.488 (ISI and GS), and 0.810 (Scopus and GS). Despite differences between evaluated h-indices in each database for individual authors, the rankings according to these h-indices were almost similar. Although h-indices supplied by WOS, SCOPUS, and GS can be used interchangeably, their differences should be acknowledged. Setting up "ReasercherID" in WOS and "User profile" in GS, and giving regular feedback to SCOPUS can increase the validity of the calculated h-indices.Acta Informatica Medica 12/2013; 21(4):234-236.