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

Authors

  • Matthew R. Quigley
    • Department of NeurosurgeryDrexel University College of Medicine
  • Emma B. Holliday
    • Department of Internal MedicineThe University of Texas Health Science Center
  • Clifton D. Fuller
    • Department of Radiation OncologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    • Department of Radiation Medicine, Knight Cancer InstituteOregon Health & Science University
  • Mehee Choi
    • Department of Radiation Medicine, Knight Cancer InstituteOregon Health & Science University
    • Department of Radiation Medicine, Knight Cancer InstituteOregon Health & Science University
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