Publication metrics such as the Hirsch index (h-index) are often used to evaluate and compare research productivity in academia. The h-index is not a field-normalized statistic and can, therefore, be dependent on overall rates of publication and citation within specific fields. Thus, a metric that adjusts for this while measuring individual contributions would be preferable.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed a field-normalized, article-level metric called the “relative citation ratio” (RCR) that can be used to more accurately compare author productivity between fields. The mean RCR is calculated as the total number of citations per year of a publication divided by the average field-specific citations per year, whereas the weighted RCR is the sum of all article-level RCR scores over an author's career 1).

Daniels et al. found that publication count and h-index during residency correlated to an academic career, but not publication count prior to residency 2).

The h-index is an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar.

The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other publications. The index can also be applied to the productivity and impact of a group of scientists, such as a department or university or country, as well as a scholarly journal. The index was suggested in 2005 by Jorge E. Hirsch, a physicist at UCSD, as a tool for determining theoretical physicists' relative quality and is sometimes called the Hirsch index or Hirsch number.

Various Bibliometric indices based on the citations accumulated by scholarly articles, including the h-index…

Application of the h-index to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) neurosurgeons revealed a significant correlation with the duration after certification and with certain centers. Evaluation of the h-index should be included in the consideration for academic positions in KSA. Saudi neurosurgeons should be encouraged to publish in journals with high impact factor 3).

see H5-Index

Reddy V, Gupta A, White MD, Gupta R, Agarwal P, Prabhu AV, Lieber B, Chang YF, Agarwal N. Assessment of the NIH-supported relative citation ratio as a measure of research productivity among 1687 academic neurological surgeons. J Neurosurg. 2020 Jan 31:1-8. doi: 10.3171/2019.11.JNS192679. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32005024.
Daniels M, Garzon-Muvdi T, Maxwell R, et al. Preresidency publication number does not predict academic career placement in neurosurgery. [Epub ahead of print Feb 16 2017] World Neurosurg. 2017;101:350-356. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.02.028.
Jamjoom AB. Survey of h-index for neurosurgeons in Saudi Arabia. Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2015 Oct;20(4):392-395. doi: 10.17712/nsj.2015.4.20140735. PubMed PMID: 26492123.
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