Questions on Individual research performance measurement

Fangmeng Tian ftian at GMU.EDU
Tue Aug 10 22:33:31 EDT 2010

Dear all, 

   Measurement is probably the most important issue in the study of research productivity. In my study on the research performance of Chinese scientists, I needed to measure their annual publication productivity. After comparing different bibliometric indicators, I didn't adopt simple publication counts or H-index. Here are the two indicators I use: 

   (1). Fractionalized number of SCI papers weighted by citation counts in a three-year window. The number of SCI papers by an author in a given year is counted and adjusted by the number of authors of a paper. Each paper is weighted by its citation counts in the following three years. Actually this indicator is the total citation number an author received because of his/her share of the publications.

   (2). The highest performance of a scientist. According to the citations received, all papers in a given year are divided into three categories – high (top 30%), low (bottom 40%) and middle (those in between). A scientist’s highest performance is the category of his/her most cited paper. For example, if one’s single most cited paper belongs to the top 30% category, his/her highest performance is coded as “High”, no matter how many papers he/she published in a given year. 

   I think the first indicator measures the quantitative aspect of a scientist, while the second measures the qualitative aspect. Here I have some technical questions:

   1. Has any recent paper used similar indicators, particularly the second one? 
   2. For review articles, I only count 1/3 of its citations, since such articles generally get many more citations. Is this weight too low or too high? 
   3. Please tell me if you know a better practice or how to improve the measurements. 


Tim Tian

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