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A Proof of Concept for Applying the Radicchi Index (hf) to Compare Academic Productivity and Scientific Impact Among Medical Specialties.

Authors
  • Do, Truong H1
  • Miller, Catherine2
  • Low, Walter C1
  • Haines, Stephen J1
  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • 2 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neurosurgery
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2020
Volume
86
Issue
4
Pages
593–603
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/neuros/nyz207
PMID: 31232431
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Many indices have been developed to assess the impact of scientific publications by investigators, disciplines, and institutions. The h-index has emerged as a leading tool in the assessment of the productivity of authors. Differences in publication and citation opportunity among specialties create inappropriate conclusions when the h-index is used to compare authors across different disciplines. An alternative, the Radicchi index, hf, has been proposed to assess the impact of publications across disciplines. We curated a database of all articles published from 2002 to 2015 from the 3 highest impact factor medical journals: New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Lancet, and the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). With this database, articles were categorized into medical subspecialties. We calculated the respective h-index and Radicchi index of each specialty. We found that the Radicchi index eliminated variability associated with publication and citation opportunity between different specialties when compared to the h-index. The Radicchi index is a useful measure of scientific impact and productivity that advances the h-index by allowing interspecialty comparisons. There remains a need to define a researcher's specialty designation especially if he/she conducts multidisciplinary research. Copyright © 2019 by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

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