Use of H-Index and other bibliometric indicators to evaluate research productivity outcome on swine diseases

Ivan Díaz, Mart Cortey, Àlex Olvera, Joaquim Segalés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Daz et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. H-index is the most commonly applied tool to evaluate scientific productivity. In this study, the use of the H-index to evaluate scientific production in swine veterinary medicine was explored. A database of 137 pig infectious agents was constructed, including its taxonomic division, zoonotic potential, status as emerging pathogen and whether it was OIE-listed. The H-index and the total number of citations were calculated for those pathogens, the location of the affiliation of the first author of each paper included in the H-index core was registered and, for the ten pathogens with the highest H-index, evolution over time was measured. H-index values were compared to the M quotient, A-index, G-index, HG-index and the G/H ratio. H-indices were found to be severely affected by search accuracy and the database was hand curated. Swine pathogen H-indexes were highly dispersed ranging from 0 to 106 and were generally higher for pathogens causing endemic diseases in large pig producing countries. Indeed, the three top pathogens were Escherichia coli, Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and Porcine circovirus type 2 with H-indices 106, 95 and 85, respectively. H-indices of viruses and bacteria were significantly higher (P<0.001) than other pathogen types. Also, non-zoonotic pathogens had higher H-indices than zoonotic pathogens (p<0.009) while no differences could be found for being listed by the OIE. For emerging diseases, only non-emerging viruses had higher H-index (p = 0.02). The study of H-indexes over time revealed three general patterns and that they had increased mainly after the 1980's. As expected, there were strong geographic patterns in terms of authorship and North America (38%) and Europe (46%) coped the majority of the papers. Finally, in order to quantify the contribution of a subject to a specific field, a new index "Deciphering Citations Organized by Subject" (Dcos) is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0149690
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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