Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 463–466

Distribution of the h-Index in Radiation Oncology Conforms to a Variation of Power Law: Implications for Assessing Academic Productivity

  • Matthew R. Quigley
  • Emma B. Holliday
  • Clifton D. Fuller
  • Mehee Choi
  • Charles R. ThomasJr.
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s13187-012-0363-y

Cite this article as:
Quigley, M.R., Holliday, E.B., Fuller, C.D. et al. J Canc Educ (2012) 27: 463. doi:10.1007/s13187-012-0363-y

Abstract

Leaders of academic institutions evaluate academic productivity when deciding to hire, promote, or award resources. This study examined the distribution of the h-index, an assessment of academic standing, among radiation oncologists. The authors collected h-indices for 826 US academic radiation oncologists from a commercial bibliographic database (SCOPUS, Elsevier B.V., NL). Then, logarithmic transformation was performed on h-indices and ranked h-indices, and results were compared to estimates of a power law distribution. The h-index frequency distribution conformed to both the log-linear variation of a power law (r2 = .99) and the beta distribution with the same fitting exponents as previously described in a power law analysis of the productivity of neurosurgeons. Within radiation oncology, as in neurosurgery, there are exceedingly more faculty with an h-index of 1–2. The distribution fitting the same variation of a power law within two fields suggests applicability to other areas of academia.

Keywords

BibliometricsRadiation oncologyProductivity

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew R. Quigley
    • 1
  • Emma B. Holliday
    • 2
  • Clifton D. Fuller
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mehee Choi
    • 4
  • Charles R. ThomasJr.
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryDrexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineThe University of Texas Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Radiation Medicine, Knight Cancer InstituteOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA