Measuring Scholastic Production by Dermatopathologists Using the H-Index: A Cross-Sectional Study
Academic advancement in dermatopathology requires evidence of scientific production. The H-index is a useful bibliometric for measuring scientific production because it weights both volume and impact of an individual's scholastic production. The H-index distribution among academic dermatopathologists is unknown. In this cross-sectional study of 299 dermatopathologists with academic appointments in North America, H-index, publication counts, and citation counts were retrieved from Thomas Reuters Web of Science. Analytic statistics were performed to identify best predictors of academic rank and cutoff points between academic ranks. The H-index was a superior predictor of overall academic rank than publication or citation counts. The median H-index for assistant, associate, and full professors was 4, 6, and 11, respectively. H-index cutoff scores of 8 and 10 favored associate and full professor rank, respectively. These data provide benchmarks for dermatopathologists to gauge their scientific productivity against that of their peers. Although advancement decisions will depend on a careful examination of the scope and impact of a candidate's work, assistant professors of dermatopathology with H-index scores of >7 and associate professors of dermatopathology with H-index scores of >9 may wish to consider application for promotion.