NeuRA’s Prof John Hodges named in the top 400 most-cited biomedical scientists in Nature

Nature journal has listed the 400 most-cited biomedical scientists in the period 1996–20114.

Professor John Hodges from the Frontier group at NeuRA is one of few Australian’s who made the list.

His work is in dementia care and diagnosis.

Nature selected each author’s ten most-cited papers (adjusted for publication year) published in 2005–08, and asked them to score the papers (on a scale of 0 to 100) in six dimensions.

They restricted the period to 2005–08, because the perception of the importance of a paper can change over time5. Old, highly cited papers might become stereotyped6: people unquestioningly treat them as canonical. Recent papers (those published within the past five years), have had insufficient time to accrue citations.

Overall, 123 scientists responded, scoring 1,214 papers between them. On average, investigators tended to give their blockbuster papers high scores for dimensions that reflect evolution: Continuous Progress, Broader Interest and Greater Synthesis (for definitions of these terms and extended data, see Supplementary Information). They gave the papers lower scores on average for dimensions that reflect revolution: Disruptive Innovativeness and Surprise (see ‘Self assessment’). They also indicated that blockbuster papers were easy to publish, with some exceptions.

Twenty scientists (16%) felt that their most important paper published in 2005–08 was not among their top ten most cited. However, most of these 20 papers were still heavily cited (on average in the top 3% published in the same year in terms of citations; seven were in the top 15 papers that the author published in 2005–08). Authors scored these papers higher for Disruptive Innovativeness (in nine cases) and Surprise (in five cases) than their ten most-cited papers.

Fifty-two papers were appraised by at least two authors. We evaluated co-author agreement by comparing the scores for each dimension to their median values for that author. We considered the paired responses as an example of an agreement if both authors scored a paper above their median, below their median or at their median. The expected proportion of agreement given random responses is 50%. The rate of agreement ranged from 74% to 86% for the six dimensions, but the sample size was limited.

(Source: Nature)