An assessment of academic productivity in pediatric neurosurgery

Clinical article

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Various bibliometric indices are now commonly used to assess academic productivity in medicine. Some evidence suggests that these measures are specific to subspecialty areas. The authors' goal was to measure the h index of academic pediatric neurosurgeons and compare it with previously reported results for academic neurosurgeons in general.


Programs with an Accreditation Council for Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowships–approved fellowship were identified, and the h and g indices of each of their surgeons were calculated. These were correlated with academic rank and compared with published literature on academic neurosurgical departments.


Seventy-two pediatric neurosurgeons had a mean h index of 16.6 and a mean g index of 29.5. Both indices increased with progressive academic rank. The rank-specific mean index for academic pediatric neurosurgeons was similar to that of neurosurgeons from academic departments in general.


Overall, the authors conclude that the h index metric is a reasonable measure of academic productivity in the pediatric neurosurgery arena that provides a robust measure of an individual's contribution to the pediatric neurosurgery literature. Like its counterpart in neurosurgery in general, the h index for pediatric neurosurgeons correlates with institutional rank. The h index calculation also reveals the productivity of the pediatric neurosurgeons to be on par with the productivity of neurosurgeons in general.

Abbreviations used in this paper:ACPNF = Accreditation Council for Pediatric Neurosurgery Fellowships; h index and g index = Hirsch index and variation of the h index that gives more weight to highly cited articles.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: John R. W. Kestle, M.D., Department of Surgery, Room 3100, University of British Columbia, 910 W. 10th Ave., Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 4E3. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online July 19, 2013; DOI: 10.3171/2013.6.PEDS13112.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.



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    Graph showing the h index and rank of pediatric neurosurgeons.

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    Graph showing the correlation of g and h indices for pediatric neurosurgeons.



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