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24.08. - Virtuální prohlídka Biofyzikálního ústavu AV ČR


08.06. - Gratulace Soni Legartové

Ředitelka BFÚ srdečně gratuluje Soni Legartové k získání Prémie Otto Wichterleho

The Institute’s most cited papers

Frequently cited papers have a great impact on further development in a field, including the further application of results in practice. Citation rate is therefore one of the basic parameters used to assess the significance of a scientific paper. Good scientists are those who produce frequently cited papers, and top-quality institutions are recognized by their proportion to the most cited papers in a country.

Since the citation rates vary by field, one should compare institutions working in similar fields. This applies to our analysis, in which the institutions of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic belonging to the same section are close with regard to field.

A paper can be produced either by a single team or in cooperation by two or more teams. The parent team, i.e. the team by which a major part of the research paper was produced, is usually distinguished by corresponding author. In the vast majority of cases, the first author is from the same team as the corresponding author. In our analysis, own papers of a particular country, organization or team are those which have a corresponding author from that particular country, organization or team. Own papers are important, as they reflect the ability of our scientists to make a significant discovery and publish the result in a prestigious journal.

An analysis of the most cited own papers is one possible approach that allows us to evaluate the quality of research, but its result may not give a complete picture of the performance of a particular team or institution. Papers produced in cooperation with other scientists (particularly with scientists from abroad) are usually cited more frequently. For example, only 20 out of 100 most-cited papers in which the Czech Republic has participated over the last five years have had a corresponding author from the Czech Republic. Understandably, an author’s contribution to a paper produced in a foreign laboratory can be more significant than a paper produced in the Czech Republic. However, the contribution of a Czech author to such a paper can be very low, being merely part of his/her stay abroad. Although the paper of such an author can be highly cited, this does not reflect the author’s ability to do scientific research and produce high-quality papers in his/her laboratory in the Czech Republic. This is well documented by the author’s own papers.

We have performed an analysis of the most cited own papers of the Czech Republic to see how many papers out of the first 100 papers published each year are from our Institute. Due to the dynamics of the citation rate over time, it is necessary to compare the citation rates of papers produced in the same year. Let’s look at the most cited papers to which Czech authors contributed in individual years. The papers of Czech authors found on the WoS for each year (only “Article” or “Review” type papers were considered) were ranked according to the parameter “Times cited,” and the 500 most cited papers were saved in the “Marked” list. After conversion into Excel, we have identified papers in which the corresponding author was from the Czech Republic (searching for “Czech Republic” in the RP column), and selected the 100 most cited papers. This step may not be correct in some cases since some papers can have more corresponding authors, although the WoS will only indicate one corresponding author (who may be less important). However, our experience shows that such cases are not numerous. By using this approach, 1,000 papers published in the period from 2000 to 2009 were selected and used in further evaluation (citation rates have been relatively low over the last few years, and may show slight changes over time).

Participation of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in such papers is approximately 50% (524 papers). The list below presents the distribution of individual institutions (see Figure). The upper part of the figure shows the distribution of the most cited papers among the institutes, regardless of the institute’s size, whereas the lower part of Figure presents the numbers of the most cited papers normalized to the number of institute’s employees (based on the Annual Report of the Academy of Sciences). It follows from the Figure that the performance of the Institute of Biophysics is one of the highest compared to other institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and significantly exceeds the level of performance in other institutes from the same section (Section 5 – extended segments).

The following table shows the numbers of papers, the mean citation rates for the 100 most cited own papers of the Czech Republic, and the number of papers by the Institute of Biophysics among the 100 most cited own papers of the Czech Republic.

Table 1The number of papers (“article” or “review” types) of the Czech Republic published in the period from 2000 - 2010, mean citation rates for the 100 most cited own papers of the Czech Republic, and the contribution of scientists from the Institute of Biophysics to the 100 most cited own papers.

YEAR

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

The number of papers of the Czech Republic

3585

3835

3946

4129

4522

4659

5464

6334

7155

7694

The mean citation rate for the 100 most cited own papers of the Czech Republic

84

67

80

75

61

54

55

34

26

9.8

The contribution of the Institute of Biophysics to the 100 most cited own papers of the Czech Republic

3/100

3/100

8/100

8/100

6/100

6/100

5/100

3/100

5/100

5/100

Note: Citation rates in 2009 are still quite low and consequently the contribution of the Institute of Biophysics to the 100 most cited papers may change over time.

It follows from the Table that the number of papers to which the Czech Republic has contributed shows an increasing trend. A decline in the citation rate is due to a shorter period of time since the paper was published. In spite of double competition, the number of papers by the Institute of Biophysics among the most cited papers has remained approximately the same over the last years, being still markedly high with regard to the size of the Institute of Biophysics.

According to the Report on Research and Development of the Czech Statistical Office, the annual costs for basic research in the Czech Republic amount to 16 billion Czech crowns. The budget of the Institute of Biophysics is approximately 120 million Czech crowns per year (50% subsidies/50% grants). On the assumption that the performance of all research teams in the Czech Republic is the same, the probability that a paper produced by the Institute of Biophysics will rank among the 100 best papers would be 0.75%. Therefore, it follows from the Table that the performance of the Institute of Biophysics in terms of producing top-quality results is seven times higher than the average in the Czech Republic.

Initially, only some of the Institute’s departments were involved in such papers. Now, all departments have improved and published their own papers, among the best over the last five years since the Institute started to evaluate the performance of its teams on a regular basis.

The most cited, original papers by the Institute of Biophysics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Biofyzikální ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.) in individual years (the status as per 6 August 2010):

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000