Bibliometric data in clinical cardiology revisited. The case of 37 Dutch professorsReport as inadecuate

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Netherlands Heart Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 246–255

First Online: 28 April 2011DOI: 10.1007-s12471-011-0128-y

Cite this article as: Opthof, T. & Wilde, A.A.M. Neth Heart J 2011 19: 246. doi:10.1007-s12471-011-0128-y


In this paper, we assess the bibliometric parameters of 37 Dutch professors in clinical cardiology. Those are the Hirsch index h-index based on all papers, the h-index based on first authored papers, the number of papers, the number of citations and the citations per paper. A top 10 for each of the five parameters was compiled. In theory, the same 10 professors might appear in each of these top 10s. Alternatively, each of the 37 professors under assessment could appear one or more times. In practice, we found 22 out of these 37 professors in the 5 top 10s. Thus, there is no golden parameter. In addition, there is too much inhomogeneity in citation characteristics even within a relatively homogeneous group of clinical cardiologists. Therefore, citation analysis should be applied with great care in science policy. This is even more important when different fields of medicine are compared in university medical centres. It may be possible to develop better parameters in the future, but the present ones are simply not good enough. Also, we observed a quite remarkable explosion of publications per author which can, paradoxical as it may sound, probably not be interpreted as an increase in productivity of scientists, but as the effect of an increase in the number of co-authors and the strategic effect of networks.

KeywordsClinical cardiology Professors Citation analysis Bibliometric analysis h-index Hirsch index  Download fulltext PDF

Author: T. Opthof - A. A. M. Wilde


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