Position on the list of authors: a missing factor in the scientometric evaluation

Jan Albrecht

Abstract



Scientometric analysis has become a key tool with which to rank a scientist and/or a scientific institution. The position on the ISI list of a journal publishing the author’s work (that is, the “impact factor”of the journal) and the Hirsch index (index h) reflecting the frequency at which the author is being cited by others, are the milestones of the system. The parameters are often employed interchangeably and their validity has become a matter of hot dispute. The author stays away from this controversy. The emphasis of this article is on the need to implement a scientometric bonus that would be distinctly granted to those who contributed the most to a given work. The major contributors could be distinguished on the list of authors as the corresponding author and, perhaps in a lesser degree, the first author. At present most of the research reports in the field of medical biology or related areas, are a result of collaboration of experts representing different specialties and scientific institutions. By routine scientometry, each of the multiple authors receives the same number of ranking points, irrespective of his position on the list. This practice plays down the obvious role of the corresponding author as a creator of a concept and/or design of the study, the true leader of the group.


Keywords


scientometry; medical biology; list of authors; corresponding author; first author

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