Faculty members called to register in Google Scholar to update list of top Philippine scientists

In a memorandum issued recently, Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela P. Concepcion encouraged faculty members to register and create their Google Scholar profile “so that the current list of UP scientists with citations could be updated and corrected in future editions of the Cybermetrics Lab ranking.”

Last month, Cybermetrics Lab has announced the list of top 250 scientists in Philippine institutions. One hundred sixteen (116) of those who landed on the list are affiliated with UP, with UP Manila-based scientists occupying the top spots. 

Prepared by Spain’s largest research body Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, the list was based on the public profiles of scientists as they appeared on Google Scholar Citations.

Through Google Scholar Citations, authors can track who and how many other authors are referring to their publications. Once they create their profiles on Google Scholar, their “citation metrics are computed and updated automatically as Google Scholar finds new citations to their work on the web.”

Cybermetrics Lab ranks the scientists according to their h-index which means that a scientist with an h-index of 22 has 22 papers that have been cited at least 22 times. Developed by physicist Jorge Hirsch in 2005, the h-index measures both the number of publications and the number of citations per publication.

The list is time-bound and the h-index varies depending on the period covered by the rankings. For this second edition, the rankings were made as of the third week of November 2015.

There are now variations and modifications to the h-index as scientists try to capture a better metric to evaluate the quality of a scientific work.  Thus, the h-index as an indication of an author’s research impact or influence must be used with caution.

For one, the h-index varies depending on the database used in the computation.  Publication databases such as Scopus, Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar give different h-index values for the same scientist because the scope and coverage of their databases vary.

The period covered by the h-index must also be examined.  Some h-indices are computed for the whole duration of a scientist’s scholarly history (from the first publication recorded in the database) while others pertain to a specific time period (e.g., Google Scholar may show h-index from 2010 onward).

H-index values also depend on the discipline or field of specialization.  For example, medical scientists have h-index values ranging from 11 to 19, with high values of 30 and above.  Physicists have h-index values between 12 to 20, with high values of 45 and above. The typical h-index values in the social sciences are 2.8 (law), 3.4 (political science), 3.7 (sociology) and 6.5 (geography).  This is because they have fewer scientists and therefore fewer papers and fewer citations.

The Cybermetrics Lab list also shows the number of citations of a scientist which is an indication of the overall significance of one’s body of work.

The UP System will soon generate its own listing of Filipino scientists to include UP scientists who have recently registered with Google Scholar.