H-index in the Brazilian Academy of Sciences: comments and concerns

Alexander W.A. Kellner Luiza C.M.O. Ponciano About the authors

Bibliometric parameters have been used in order to evaluate a scientist's performance. The h-index has been gradually accepted as the most adequate parameter for this purpose. To have an idea of this index among Brazilian scientists, we performed an analysis of this parameter for the full members of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (BAS). The h-index of 402 members listed in 10 distinct categories by the BAS was determined, cross-checked with the curriculum vitae of each of them listed at the Plataforma Lattes database (CVL) and compared with each other. Despite the large production, mostly in journals without impact factor, the h-indexes among the BAS members are comparatively low and show a large variation in all of the 10 categories, particularly in Biomedical and Physical sciences. The highest average of h-index values was found in Biomedical, Health and Chemical sciences; the lowest values were found in Human sciences where this index is meaningless. Several problems due to the trend that new and "fresh" publications need be constantly produced (the "bakery-effect") are discussed. This study points to the need of developing countries such as Brazil to invest in national scientific journals in order to make them gradually part of the mainstream journals. This would have a positive effect on bibliometric parameters of Brazilian researchers, including the h-index.

scientometrics; bibliometric indexes; h-index; Brazilian Academy of Sciences

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