99

You can find a lot of historical examples, from people whose careers predated the publish-or-perish culture. A striking more recent example is Peter Higgs, who was awarded (among other honors) the 2013 Nobel prize in physics. Whether that makes him a "great" physicist is of course arguable, but he clearly did important work. However, Peter Higgs, ...


74

Yes, there is one and only one standard method that is universally employed by reputable academic institutions worldwide. This is how you evaluate a researcher: Read their papers. Attend one of their talks. Ask the opinion of other experts in the field. This is how hiring committees and promotion committees do their job. There are no shortcuts. Parts 1-...


74

Here are a few contemporary mathematicians who solved major open problems and have relatively low h-index, computed using citation data MathSciNet, for their stature in the mathematical community: Yitang Zhang (proved boundedness of gaps in primes): h-index 2 Grigori Perelman (solved the Poincaré conjecture): h-index 10 Andrew Wiles (proved Fermat's Last ...


68

I think this is a good example of putting too much faith in an average measure like Impact Factor or SJR when you talk about the 'reputation' of a journal. In 2015, in its first year, SoftwareX published "Gromacs: High performance molecular simulations through multi-level parallelism from laptops to supercomputers", which was extremely highly cited ...


57

Write papers that people will want to cite. In particular: When you come up with a new concept/technique, write a good explanatory section, so that people will refer to your paper for in depth explanation. Make something useful, like a piece of software or a benchmark that people working in your field can use. Write a paper that people using your work can ...


52

I can see a few reasons why your paper was not cited as much as you hoped it to be: Networking indeed does go a long way towards being cited. In my experience this is especially true for areas where many competing approaches are being published (which, by the sound of it, is true in your case). Even if your paper is published in a good venue, this alone ...


35

No. Academic publishing is not regulated by any oversight body. There is not even a universal standard for what constitutes a publication.


33

Because it's easy Let's say you got 100 researchers to evaluate. How would you go about doing it? You could read their papers in sufficient detail to understand them (would take months or years, especially if they're not in your field). You could rely on peer evaluations and recommendation letters (already done extensively). You could look at prizes and ...


32

The first person who should cite your work is actually YOU. If you simply abandoned your work and you expected others to pick up on it, it mostly does not work this way, unless your work is really ground-breaking. When I search for something on a area I am interested in, it is easy to pick up papers with more citations (which you do not yet have) or authors ...


32

There are, I think, two distinct factors at work that may help explain some of your puzzlement: Your field's impact factor is not academia's impact factor. For example, society journals in my field have an impact factor of ~ 5, and some of the big names for very splashy studies have impact factors ranging from 20 to 56. Depending on the balance of fields ...


30

That happens. Maybe they didn't do a thorough literature study before they published, or they did but before your work was available. This is more frequent than we would like to think. Note that it's generally expected from authors to have done a reasonable effort in searching for previous work, but it's not unethical per se not to reference every previous ...


30

The h-index is defined mathematically based on the number of publications and citations. So the only question is what data source you are using to calculate the h-index. If that source removes publications and citation counts upon retraction, the answer is yes, the h-index can decrease. However, since this is source-based, you could even get occasional ...


29

All journals that have a high standing have the standing because of the support of the community. If the community loses interest, the journal will drop in the ranking. The top journals have therefore attracted authors for one reason or another. The editorial staff of journals try to maintain this status by making sure the work published there is of good ...


28

You can't. Google Scholar, like everything Google, does not curate the data. It only indexes them and makes them easy to search through. If the citing document is online it'll be counted as a citation. Google Scholar citations count, h-index and i-10 index are not accurate if you have quality criteria for what constitute a citation (an most reasonable ...


26

In addition to the ones @Coder suggests, perhaps the library classification systems: Library of Congress Dewey Decimal Universal Decimal Classification might be useful? As @tonysdg says below, there are a variety of other system, too.


26

If one claimed that a particular scholar was "above average" or "noted" in their field, is there any good metric by which to support or deny such a claim? No. As a rule of thumb, this isn't the kind of thing that you can measure with a metric. Elvis Presley was the king of rock and roll. Why? Is it because he pumped out more albums than the others? Because ...


22

The only apparent difference between the two being h-index means you don't know enough about these two PIs. Work habits, advising styles, perspectives on the roles of their students...all of these matter. With that out of the way, lets pretend they are, actually, identical. The h-index is still a bad choice. There are a few reasons why: Past performance ...


21

I think this is analogous to "why is Harvard a good university, and able to maintain its standing as such?" A partial answer is that (1) it was founded a long time ago, and (2) it was founded by serious people. Given that, further serious people will tend to gravitate to the same institution, creating an inertia in the rankings. A quote from The Crucible (...


21

There's multiple questions contained within your question that have different answers. Is there independent oversight of Journal Impact Factors? ... Now I am wondering is there a oversight body that regulates the area? This depends on what you mean by "independent". If you mean an official unbiased centralised not-for-profit professional organisation,...


21

In many fields, the literature moves faster than most people can follow. A journal article can easily be missed. The chance of it being seen now that 5 years have passed is virtually none. The best way to get your work known in many fields is to get out there and personally evangelize it. Give talks at conferences, talk it up to colleagues, etc. Getting ...


21

I think that PLOS ONE is gambling on two key hypotheses: People are very bad at judging future importance --- thus, no "significance" filtering. Search engines and social networks are now much better at delivering articles than subscriptions --- thus, open access. This certainly conforms with my experience: at present I have two PLOS ONE articles, each ...


19

Yes, you can! But that it is possible is by no means to say that it is ethical, practical, wise, or otherwise commendatory. I would be especially concerned about becoming known as the 'person with a kooky idea' rather than as a serious academic researcher. The question becomes, "It is possible to write on a very controversial topic, create a media ...


18

h-index counts citations regardless of the content of those citations, so citations by people criticizing the paper, disagreeing with it, or pointing out that it's nonsense do still count as citations. (As a plan to improve one's h-index, this seems like a bad plan for a number of reasons. As a concern about the meaning of h-index, it's a concern, though ...


18

The comments are already spot on, but let me elaborate a bit. Comparing h-indices (or any other "hard" metric) is already dangerous in narrow fields and downright foolish if used for comparisons among different fields. This is not only because some fields are larger than others, but also because: Differences in publication standards. In applied CS we write ...


18

As with all bibliometrics, the h-index is indicative at best. There is no magic number that says "now give this person a promotion", but if you have an h-index twice that of your colleagues, it might suggest something interesting. If you really want to use the h-index to see how you compare to other organic chemists, why not look at the h-index of your ...


18

First and foremost, I recommend reading the related question: "Why is it said that judging a paper by citation count is a bad idea?" That question may help relieve some of your concern about the importance of having an answer for this question. Now, turning to H-index: to the best of my knowledge, there is no consensus as to whether self-citations should ...


18

There's no firm consensus on whether to include self-citations. (For example, the original paper by Hirsch discusses how one could correct for self-citations but doesn't include this as part of the definition of the h-index.) The reason is that it doesn't matter: the h-index is a crude tool, and if your decisions make delicate enough use of it that the ...


17

Suppose you start with a collection of journals and people who want to publish quality papers in them, who arrive over time. Suppose that each new quality paper is sent to a journal which is chosen at random, but where the probability of choosing journal X is an increasing function of the number of quality papers which have already appeared in X. Then you ...


17

As a mathematician, I don't view an Erdős number as a sign of merit in any serious way. It's more of a cultural in-joke. There are over 9,000 people with Erdős number 2, and far more than that with Erdős number 3, so it doesn't really set you apart. So, if you published with Erdős, that fact will be clear form your list of papers, and if you haven't, your ...


17

The Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series (and its related sub-series) are rather odd publications. The DBLP bibliography server marks them as a journal in one way, but categorizes them as a series in another way, and they are structured and reviewed more like conference proceedings or collections of book chapters. I personally would ...


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