3rd T.B. Rajashekar Memorial Lecture : “Scientometrics with Special Emphasis on Measuring Scientific Productivity”

Minutes of the Third Dr. T.B. Rajashekar Memorial Lecture held on Saturday, 7th June, 2008 at Choksi Hall, IISc, Bangalore.

Title: “Scientometrics with Special Emphasis on Measuring Scientific Productivity”
Speaker: Dr. IK Ravichandra Rao,
Professor and Head
Documentation Research and Training Centre
Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore.

The program started with Mr. Francis Jayakanth welcoming the gathering. He briefly mentioned about the significance of memorial lecture and also gave a life sketch of late Dr. T.B. Rajashekar.

Prof. Giridhar Madras, Chairman NCSI, who presided over the lecture, introduced the speaker to the gathering and requested Prof. Rao to deliver the lecture.

Prof. Rao began his talk by giving an overview of Scientometrics including its history and scope. The rest of the lecture mainly focused on the different aspects of measuring of scientific productivity and the various observations that he made included:

  • Relationship between the scientific research input and its ouput
  • Taking in account the no. of publications and their citations
  • Number of citations to each of the q most cited papers
  • Methods of counting (Normal, Straight, and Fractional counting)
  • Proportional Author count
  • Pure Geometric Author count

He also talked about h-index, its advantages and shortcomings. As an example, he showed what the h-index (h) could mean to a researcher:

  • Hirsch suggests that after 20 years in research, an h = 20 is a sign of success.
  • If h = 40 after 20 years: outstanding scientists. They are likely to be found only at the major research labs.
  • If h = 12 good enough to secure university tenure and fellowship of APS!
  • If h = 45 : fellow of NAS, USA!

He also highlighted that different disciplines have different levels. For example,
Biologists can have values up to 190!

He also explained about the Models for the three indices in Lotkanian Informerics. He also made a comparison showing the h and g indices for a list of scientists, further giving the g/h ratio. He was of the opinion that g-index is an improvement to h-index. Also stated that h-index depends on different factors like environment, from country-to-country.

Further crisis of Scientometrics and also possible solutions were put forward, and also its applications in the field of Science, Social Science, Documentation and Science Policy.

The lecture concluded with Prof. Rao answering questions put forth by members of the audience. Mr. Anand Byrappa proposed vote of thanks. The event ended with high-tea.