Bibliometric tools can be used to identify the authors, topics and research institutions that have made the greatest impact in a field of medicine.
The application of bibliometrics in neurosurgery is in its infancy.
An example is the calculation of a number of publication productivity measures for almost all academic neurosurgeons.
Currently available citation databases.
Web of Science.
The top 5 programs for publication productivity are University of California, San Francisco; Barrow Neurological Institute; Johns Hopkins University; University of Pittsburgh; and University of California, Los Angeles.
The results for the metrics should be viewed as benchmarks for comparison purposes 1).
Bibliometrics were used to quantify the scientific output of neurosurgical departments throughout Great Britain and Ireland. METHODS A list of neurosurgical departments was obtained from the Society of British Neurological Surgeons website. Individual departments were contacted for an up-to-date list of consultant (attending) neurosurgeons practicing in these departments. Scopus was used to determine the h-index and m-quotient for each neurosurgeon. Indices were measured by surgeon and by departmental mean and total. Additional information was collected about the surgeon's sex, title, listed superspecialties, higher research degrees, and year of medical qualification. RESULTS Data were analyzed for 315 neurosurgeons (25 female). The median h-index and m-quotient were 6.00 and 0.41, respectively. These were significantly higher for professors (h-index 21.50; m-quotient 0.71) and for those with an additional MD or PhD (11.0; 0.57). There was no significant difference in h-index, m-quotient, or higher research degrees between the sexes. However, none of the 16 British neurosurgery professors were female. Neurosurgeons who specialized in functional/epilepsy surgery ranked highest in terms of publication productivity. The 5 top-scoring departments were those in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge; St. George's Hospital, London; Great Ormond Street Hospital, London; National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London; and John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. CONCLUSIONS The h-index is a useful bibliometric marker, particularly when comparing between studies and individuals. The m-quotient reduces bias toward established researchers. British academic neurosurgeons face considerable challenges, and women remain underrepresented in both clinical and academic neurosurgery in Britain and Ireland.