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Z Gastroenterol. 1997 Jan;35(1):23-8.

[Research activity and research quality of German gastroenterologists reflected by citation indices].

Zeitschrift fur Gastroenterologie

[Article in German]
C Ell, E Gunreben, S Kettner, S Lehrl


  1. Klinikum der Landeshauptstadt Wiesbaden.

PMID: 9123954


UNLABELLED: The objective judgement of the activity and research quality is a central aim of the scientific community. Citation indices as valid and objective parameters have been already used in many disciplines for that purpose. The following paper describes and analyzes the citation indices of all members of the German Society of Gastroenterology, who received lectures degree (habilitation; equivalent to PhD).

METHODS: Citation indices of 376 habilitated German gastroenterologists were determined for the year 1992. Using the individual citation indices of all persons a ranking curve was calculated and compared with the ranking curve of 1987, which was calculated in the same way. Furthermore, representative groups of habilitated gastroenterologists who were cited often (> 30 citations/year), moderate or nil were evaluated concerning their citation indices during the time interval between the year of habilitation and 1992.

RESULTS: About 40% of all tested gastroenterologists were not or only very rare (0-2 citations/year) cited in the world literature. Only 15% reached citation rates over 30/year. No relevant differences were found between the ranking curves of 1992 and 1987. Gastroenterologists with high citation rates in 1992 had also high indices at the time of their habilitation; those with low or no citations in the year 1992, had also low citation rates at the time of their habilitation (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: More than 1/3 of the habilitated German gastroenterologists are 1992 not seriously registered in the scientific world literature. Only a minority of gastroenterologists shows international acceptable high citation rates. The determination of individual citation indices together with the ranking curve of the whole group of gastroenterologists appears to be suitable to judge the research activity of an individual gastroenterologist and may also serve as useful information about individual research potential in the future.

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