Friday, March 27, 2009

Sometimes, the little things are what keep you going

When you're having a crazy busy morning, and experiments are going kinda crappy (I'm at the "let's remake the solutions" stage), it can be nice to get a Friday morning email alert to 3 fresh citations to your papers! Sure, it's a little thing, but at this stage I'll take what I can get.

People are out there reading, so there must be people out there who care. Keep 'em coming folks, keep 'em coming!

By the way, what's with variability between the citation search engines? I know this has been covered before somewhere, but really.

Searching on my first paper from grad school, we get:

90 cites in ISI from the J Neurosci site.
93 from ISI itself
98 from Scopus (I got a free preview for reviewing a paper. It's pretty cool, but I haven't used it enough to say much substantive. I do like the display of citations by year, Journal, author).
102 from Google Scholar

Now, so of these I'd cut slack for (e.g., J Neurosci probably only pulls cite numbers from ISI infrequently, and who know how reliable Google Scholar is, but what's the difference between ISI and Scopus? Anyone look deeper into this?

If citations, h-indices and impact factors have traction as important metrics, shouldn't they be, oh I dunno, accurate?


Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde said...

Heck, I'd say as long as you're in the pushing-triple-digits department, you shouldn't worry too much about the precision. (Maybe there are only two significant figures?) That's awesome....

Nat Blair said...

Point taken Dr. J.

It is well cited, but it's somewhat field dependent: there are a lot of pain electrophysiology groups.

Of course, one of the reviewers main criticism was, "What's new here?"

DSK Samways said...

"It is well cited, but it's somewhat field dependent: there are a lot of pain electrophysiology groups."

Don't knock it, dude, that's still a pretty far out avg. citation #.

Of course, one of the reviewers main criticism was, "What's new here?"

Roughly translated, "Yes this is original data that serves to expand our knowledge significantly, in part by addressing some of the king-hell sized gaps in our current understanding which have occurred as a direct result of the contemporary ADHD approach to science... However, I've got to ding this paper anyway for no other reason than the fact that there is no mention of a newly cloned sexy^eleventy protein - that could potentially hold the cure for everything nasty that has ever inflicted mankind ever (including Bill Gates) - for us all to spend an impassioned ten minutes studying frantically before booting it aside in favour of The Next Big Thing!"

Nat Blair said...

Yeah, I've got to recalibrate my sense of average. The main problem being that my paper is only Bruce's 33rd most cited. But then again, he has like 11 non-review papers with >300 citations. All in all it's not a bad place to be.

The other part of the reviewer's problem was that my resultswere going head to head another paper, whom I suspect were the reviewers. Looking back, I actually think my paper was a little on the harsh side, even if it was right (and most of the differences were details; important ones, but still...)

qaz said...

You know, those numbers are remarkably close. Basically, you're looking at 96 +/- 2. That's pretty reliable results. I mean, in some fields, particularly in a lot of social fields (like citation indices!) being in a consistent logarithmic decade is hard.