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Top Parkinson's Disease Investigators - Scientific Productivity and Impact

  • Published: 2011-06-13 : Author: IOS Press
  • Synopsis: Landmark study in which both traditional and innovative scientometric approaches have been employed to identify top Parkinsons disease investigators.

Main Document

Landmark study analyzes scientific productivity and impact of the top 100 PD investigators - Published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease.

IOS Press is pleased to announce the publication of a landmark study in which both traditional and innovative scientometric approaches have been employed to identify the top 100 Parkinson's disease (PD) investigators since 1985 and measure their scientific productivity as well as the impact of their contributions to the field. The article appears today in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease.

This milestone analysis has been conducted by Aaron A. Sorensen, a noted expert in the fields of scientometrics and bibliometrics and currently Clinical Research Industry Specialist at GE Healthcare, and David Weedon, a Publishing Consultant based in London, formerly Managing Director of Biology Reports Ltd. While the study employs traditional bibliometric techniques to rank investigators, the authors have utilized innovative metrics to complement traditional tools that do not always give a full picture of the impact of a researcher's work.

"The number of citations an article receives is widely accepted as a measure of its impact," commented Sorensen and Weedon. "There has not, however, been a broad analysis of the PD research literature to assess, in a comprehensive manner, the impact and productivity of the top investigators, which this study aims to provide. It is interesting to note that approximately half the names in the Top 20 for the last decade are names that did not appear in the Top 20 for the last 25 years."

The authors have compiled a list of the 100 most cited PD researchers since 1985. The top 20 researchers identified are:

In order to get a sense for how the PD "impact landscape" might have changed in the 21st century, a Top 100 of the last decade was determined. The analysis revealed the names of a considerable number of "rising stars", who have made significant contributions to the PD literature, often through molecular or genetic approaches.

The Top 20 identified are:

In addition, newer bibliometric methods were used as a means to assess productivity and impact. Researchers were ranked using H-indices (a measure of an author's highly-cited body of work), and "broad impact" citations were introduced as a novel way of identifying those scientists whose PD work has a large "ripple effect" beyond the PD research community.

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting 1% of the population over the age of 65. It is characterized by loss of brain cells (neurons) from the mid-brain which use the neurotransmitter dopamine to help control voluntary movements.

The article is "Productivity and Impact of the Top 100 Cited Parkinson's Disease Investigators since 1985" by Aaron A. Sorensen and David Weedon. It is published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, Volume 1/Issue 1 (June 2011).

Because of the importance of this study to the PD community, the Journal of Parkinson's Disease is making it freely available in electronic format at

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