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quarta-feira, maio 07, 2008

Discussão sobre o índice de Hirsch




While I am lecturing MIT’s 8.012 class (”Mechanics for Masochists”), I don’t have a lot of time to concentrate on my brown dwarf research, so I find myself drawn off by other, shall we say, intellectual dalliances. My most recent distraction has been the so-called Hirsch index, or h-index, a single number that is meant to indicate the “impact” of a researcher’s published work in science. Think of it as baseball stats for science geeks - Ted Williams may have the highest on base percentage, but I’m sure I’ve got him beat on the h-index!

For better or worse, I’ve been contemplating this index quite a bit recently - perhaps too much. In particular, I’ve been concerned about its growing impact (pun intended) on hiring decisions, salary raises, and - perhaps most importantly - the psyches of young researchers who over- or under-estimate how their h-index is perceived. It seemed to me a perfect topic for an extensive blog discussion.


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