Thursday, January 15, 2009

Research Double

One of my former students recently wrote to me and congratulated me on the "double" of 200 papers and 2000 citations. The term double comes from cricket where 100 wickets and 1000 runs is the start for a good all rounder.

In research, however, citations are of more importance than the number of papers. I know of faculty in USA who have published less than 50 papers but have more than 2000 citations.For example, the editor of the journal (in which I regularly publish) has less than 75 papers but she has more than 4000 citations. However, there are no such exceptional cases in India. In India, the number of papers and citations seem to have a direct correlation. Some statistics based on the "double" for IISc (includes retired faculty),

Number of faculty who have > 1000/10000: 1 (Prof. CNR Rao)
Number of faculty who have > 400/4000: 2 (Prof. P.Balaram)
Number of faculty who have > 300/3000: 5 (0 in engineering)
Number of faculty who have > 200/2000: 26 (2 in engineering)
Number of faculty who have > 100/1000: 74 (7 in engineering)
In cricket, there is a treble: 100 wickets, 1000 runs and 100 catches. In research, we may have 200 papers, 2000 citations and h-index of 20. The above numbers do not change for the treble.

Okay, how this compare internationally? Let us take Purdue university. How many faculty of Purdue have > 300/3000? The answer is 300.


Anonymous said...

interesting field of scientometrics.... please also have a look at the following -
Technology Forecasting and social change article
based on this study
Assessment of India's research literature
and this one
Assessment of China's and India's science and technology literature
(was also published in Current Science)
derived partly from the following study of Chinese Literature

Anonymous said...

Oops made an error in linking in the above comment to the Current Science article

Giri@iisc said...

Thank you very much. I was aware of some of the articles. I do read papers by Ronald N. Kostoff. I also publish in the field of scientometrics. I would probably publish much more if I collaborated with a good scientist who is interested in scientometrics.

Anonymous said...

true... scientiometrics is an interesting field. if you google scholar/google kostoff then it is apparent that scientometrics can indirectly become another way of extracting new/unknown/hidden scientific information (kind of text mining) in this age of information overload . I think many of the database tools like, reference management software will be products of this field in collaboration with computer/library scientists.

Giri@iisc said...

Yes, scientometrics is an interesting field. However, any analysis should be done by a scientist in the field. I have read papers in this field and find the logic is not correct. For example, to determine the number of biotechnology papers from India, an author had checked whether the word biotechnology appears in the abstract of the paper. This is, obviously, incorrect. The other common error is *only* looking at Nc/Np i.e., the ratio of number of citations to number of papers. Institutions which publish less than 50 papers get ranked higher than IISc. Despite its shortcomings, h-index has solved some of these issues.

Your point on databases is very important. As you say, depth in this field can be achieved only by the collaboration of computer scientists, natural life scientists and library scientists.