Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Congratulations Tom Walsh

The European Journal of Clinical Investigation has published a study that attempts to list the 400 most influential biomedical researchers living between 1996 and 2011.

The authors make the point that it is ever more important to know who has the best experience of carrying out high-impact research, what it is that brings about work that has high impact:

The world of modern science has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Literature-based metrics are playing a greater role in decision-making than in the past [1]. Many researchers are highly aware of their so-called status, and check diverse metrics related to the impact of their work on a regular basis. The differing dimensions of impact and reasons for citing are receiving renewed discussion and analysis [2-6]. Although citation counts and related metrics (e.g. journal impact factor, h-index for individual researchers) are typically considered as proxy for impact [7], the nature of that impact is rarely, if ever, specified.
It is within this context of creating a better understanding of impact(s) that we have created a list of highly influential biomedical researchers. Ranking of scientists is explicitly not the main purpose of this list. Rather, we wanted to identify a pool of researchers who have had sustained success in highly influential work and who would thus presumably have substantial insight into differing features that could be associated with high impact. This list is being used in an ongoing survey where highly cited researchers are asked about the features of their most-cited articles. However, the list may be of use for many other purposes, as we discuss below.
Thomas Walsh is a leader in antimicrobial drug research including antifungal drugs and it is of great credit to him and his team that he is named on this list of the research & influence elite of the medical profession. His work has been cited nearly 29 000 times in the period covered by this study, which is a measure of the interest there is in his work amongst his peers. He published over 500 papers in the 15 years mentioned - a rate equivalent to one every 10 days! Phenomenal and inspirational!

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