Academic impact and rankings of American and Canadian neurosurgical departments as assessed using the h index

Clinical article

Restricted access

Object

The authors undertook a study to estimate the relative academic impact of neurosurgical departments in Canada and the US using the h index, a measure of the number of citations received by a collection of work.

Methods

The study included 99 departments of neurosurgery with residency programs participating in the US National Residency Matching Program, and the 14 analogous Canadian programs. Three types of h indices were determined—one reflecting the cumulative work attributed to a neurosurgical department, h(c); one restricted to the cumulative work published over the past 10 years, h(10); and one limited to work published in 2 major North American neurosurgical journals, hNS(10). For an article to be included, attribution to a neurosurgical department had to appear in the address field in the database Thomson's ISI Web of Science. The three h indices were compared with each other, and their relation to other measures such as size of the department, degrees held by the faculty, and research funding was examined.

Results

Significant correlations were found between the citation indices and faculty size, number of publications and the types of degrees held by the faculty, and funding by the US NIH. Three types of authorship were identified: neurosurgeon, nonclinician researcher, and nonneurosurgeon clinical affiliate. The degree to which the latter 2 nonneurosurgeon categories contributed to the departmental h index varied among departments and can confound interdepartmental comparison. Limiting articles to those published in neurosurgical journals appeared to correct for the influence of nonneurosurgeons in departmental impact and reflect neurosurgeon-driven scholarship.

Conclusions

The h index may be useful in evaluating output across neurosurgery departments.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Andres M. Lozano, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital, 399 Bathurst Street, WW 4-447, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2S8, Canada. email: lozano@uhnres.utoronto.ca.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online April 9, 2010; DOI: 10.3171/2010.3.JNS1032.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

Headings

References

  • 1

    Baldock CMa ROrton CG: Point/counterpoint. The h index is the best measure of a scientist's research productivity. Med Phys 36:104310452009

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2

    Barnett HJTaylor DWEliasziw MFox AJFerguson GGHaynes RB: Benefit of carotid endarterectomy in patients with symptomatic moderate or severe stenosis. North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial Collaborators. N Engl J Med 339:141514251998

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3

    Comarow A: America's best hospitals: Here's how we selected them. U.S. News & World Report July152009. (http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/best-hospitals/2009/07/15/americas-best-hospitals-heres-how-we-selected-them) [Accessed March 18 2010]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4

    Hirsch JE: An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102:16569165722005

  • 5

    Lee JKraus KLCouldwell WT: Use of the h index in neurosurgery. Clinical article. J Neurosurg 111:3873922009

  • 6

    Ponce FALozano AM: Highly cited works in neurosurgery. Part I: the 100 top-cited papers in neurosurgical journals. A review. J Neurosurg 112:2232322010

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    Ponce FALozano AM: Highly cited works in neurosurgery. Part II: the citation classics. A review. J Neurosurg 112:2332462010

  • 8

    Prathap G: Hirsch-type indices for ranking institutions' scientific research output. Curr Sci 91:14392006

  • 9

    Schubert A: Successive h-indices. Scientometrics 70:2012052007

  • 10

    Weaver FMFollett KStern MHur KHarris CMarks WJ Jr: Bilateral deep brain stimulation vs best medical therapy for patients with advanced Parkinson disease: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 301:63732009

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Cited By

Metrics

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 207 207 14
Full Text Views 214 214 5
PDF Downloads 107 107 4
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0

PubMed

Google Scholar