Organisatie - 27 januari 2012

Measuring up: take two

Lists are only valuable if they are correct. The H top-20 in the last issue of Resource did a few scientists an injustice. To put that right, here’s a second attempt.

The ink on 'Measuring up' was barely dry before Michael Muller sent an indignant email.
Since when did he no longer belong on the list? He was quickly followed by Hans Tramper, who said that 'as an old hand he wasn't that concerned'. And hadn't we left out Tjakko Abee, suggested someone else. Yes, we had. Annoying, but not entirely unexpected. Fortunately, the complaints stopped there. In the new list shown below, these errors have been corrected. Unavoidably, at the expense of three others. Louise Vet, Jacques Vervoort and Martien Groenen, please accept our apologies.
Expert judgement
Get it right first time. Wasn't that possible? In principle yes, but it is no easy matter to compile a list like this. Wageningen UR doesn't keep its own records of scores like these. What's more, a scientist who wants to know her own h-rating, has to investigate it herself. In fact, there is only one good way to compile the Top-20: expert judgement. In other words, to sound out a broad selection of people who could or should be in the know. So that is what has been done. But it's a fallible method. Among those thousands of scientists, it is easy to overlook someone. Which means that even the amended and appended list is falsifiable.
Improbable
Besides, in no way does an h-score tell the whole story. Total output, the total number of citations, the average per article and the number of citations for the most frequently cited article provide a much more complete picture of a researcher's scientific worth. Such statistics in the table below reveal striking differences. For example, Peter Holman achieves an h=48 with just 120 articles. This is reflected in the improbable average of more than 100 citations per article. Although, obviously, 2288 (!) citations for a top article bumps up the score rather nicely.
WoS
The total number of citations  also shows great variation, with Daan Kromhout the real star with over 25,000 citations. Willem de Vos isn't far behind, but he's needed 180 more articles to get to his position. Incidentally, the data come from Web of Science, currently the most used and most complete source in the h-field. Upon request, WoS will publish each scientist's citation score per year in graph form. Staff of Wageningen UR have access to WoS via the library website (www.library.wur.nl).




 


h-index


citations total


citations ave. per article


citations top article


articles total




Willem de Vos, microbiology


77


22677


36


427


626




Daan Kromhout, epidemiology


76


25567


57


2288


445




Maarten Koornneef, genetics


65


13301


63


553


210




Willem van Riemsdijk, soil chemistry


57


10482


43


488


242




Edith Feskens, nutrition


56


14781


48


2288


309




Marcel Dicke, entomology


56


10396


39


790


268




Willem Norde, physical chemistry


53


9984


42


710


233




Frans Kok, nutrition


52


10414


33


480


326




Peter Hollman, food chemistry


48


12162


101


2288


120




Ton Bisseling, molecular biology


48


7266


42


258


173




Martien Cohen Stuart, physical chemistry


48


8676


25


257


353




Frank Berendse, nature management


47


6013


42


641


150




Michael Muller, nutrigenomics


46


7093


47


573


154




Just Vlak, virology


46


7103


24


233


291




Tjakko Abee, food microbiology


45


5734


30


155


192




Fons Stams, microbiology


46


7202


25


206


279




Hans Tramper, bioprocess technology


45


7491


20


189


369




Piere de Wit, phytopathology


44


5944


39


237


159




Marten Scheffer, aquatic ecology


43


7548


52


1224


146




Michiel Kleerebezem, microbiology


43


5469


34


474


163

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