Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

The greatest scientific impact from Ireland in the past 5 years is in…..

June 21st, 2009

…. Agricultural Sciences.
Photo Credit NZMonkey on Flickr
And that’s according to Thomson Reuters National Science Indicators, 1981-2007.
This is were Thomson Reuters have taken

Ireland’s world share of science and social-science papers over a recent five-year period, expressed as a percentage of papers in each of 21 fields in the Thomson Reuters database.

Ireland’s citation impact compared to the world average in each field, is also highlighted were

Ireland exceeded the world average by 15% (3.38 citations per paper for Ireland versus a world mark of 2.93 citations) [in Agricultural Sciences]. Ireland also scored well in relative impact in immunology (26% above the world mark), physics (23% above), materials science (+22%), and chemistry (+15%).

Looks like Ireland will have to pull its socks up when it comes to Computer Science and Mathematics and when it comes to Economics & Business, well it looks like this report came too late!
But when I look at this topic of impact factors, citations and the h-index a little closer, things are not so clear cut, to a point of being fairly questionable.
Which has lead me to this very interesting paper by Allen L, Jones C, Dolby K, Lynn D, Walport M (2009) Looking for Landmarks: The Role of Expert Review and Bibliometric Analysis in Evaluating Scientific Publication Outputs. PLoS ONE 4(6): e5910. were the authors were looking

To compare expert assessment with bibliometric indicators as tools to assess the quality and importance of scientific research papers.

And they found that

When attempting to assess the quality and importance of research papers, we found that sole reliance on bibliometric indicators would have led us to miss papers containing important results as judged by expert review. In particular, some papers that were highly rated by experts were not highly cited during the first three years after publication. Tools that link expert peer reviews of research paper quality and importance to more quantitative indicators, such as citation analysis would be valuable additions to the field of research assessment and evaluation.

After all of that I’m left wondering, have you got the h-Factor?