Chemists Pull Rank

The RSC recently published a league table showing the top-ranking, living chemists. The league is based on the so-called h-index. This parameter was devised by Jorge Hirsch in 2005 in order to measure the impact of an individual chemist’s research. Put simply, the h-index is equal to the highest number of papers that chemist has published which have gained at least that number of citations from other authors. According to the Chemistry World Blog today, thirty more chemists have been added to the league. Hirsch argued that the h-index avoids bias by combining total published papers with a citation parameter it does not reward the prolific but mediocre. The original league was created by Henry Schaefer and colleagues manually by trawling ISI citation data, but I am sure an intrepid chemical web student could create a suitable script to do the job automatically.

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rock god.

5 thoughts on “Chemists Pull Rank”

  1. An interesting extension of the concept Nenad. Perhaps you could apply it to the current top list on the RSC site and post back here with your results. It would be interesting to see how different the lists turn out to be


  2. A-index – After h-index is calculated multiplay it by the average number of citation of the papers contributing to h-index, and than take square root. This gives area based (A-index) of the h-index citation field. This removes problem that h-index of N cannot distinquish is it N-times N-citations (the weakest possible case) or N-times of citations that are much larger of N. For instance h-index of 5 one can get by citations: 5 5 5 5 5, but also by citations: 50 5 5 5 5. A-index in these two cases is 5 and 8.4 respectively. Such an index will put science genius (milestone discovery) back to the top.

    Nenad Juranic, PhD

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