It has been a while since my last post in this blog. I have been pretty busy with so many engagements in research, editorial duties, and lectures in Vietnam and elsewhere. Today, I am back, because I have just read a very interesting paper on the 100,000 most-cited scientists in the world (1).
This list was compiled by John Ioannidis and his colleagues of the Stanford meta-research innovation centre (METRICS). The authors used the methodology that they had developed and published previously (2). Using this methodology, they ranked scientists based on a series of indices, some of them are not quite accessible to ‘normal’ people. They determined the H index from Scopus bibliometric database (1996 – 2017) for each scientist, and then use the scientist’s profile (eg years of active research, number of first-authored papers, number of last-authored papers, number of single authored papers, citations and self-citations, etc) to derive an adjusted H index.
I extracted the list of osteoporosis researchers [from the list of 100,000 scientists] whom I have known over the years (surely incomplete) and sorted by the adjusted H index. Based on this incomplete list, you can see that top scientists are Drs. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor (who just passed away a few weeks ago), Josepth Melton, Cyrus Cooper, Pierre Delmas, Steven Cummings, Jane Cauley, Ego Seeman, John Kanis, Larry Riggs, and Richard Eastell. I was also on the list (ID#20). You can download the full list of 100,000 scientists (Table S1 or S4) here:
The authors also produced an interesting index reflecting the proportion of self-citation. The average proportion of self-citation in the world scientific literature was about 12.7%. My proportion of self-citation was 11%. However, there were more than 250 scientists who had amassed more than 50% of their total citations from themselves or their co-authors!
I don’t think it is possible to rank scientists and their work based solely on bibliometric indices. However, these indices can be used as adjunct measures for gauging the scientific impact of a scientist. It is my pleasure to introduce this list to you.