A little over a year ago, we launched a new web site which presents daily publication information for research-active optometrists worldwide. Prior to launch, our author group worked for some months to collect a database of such researchers using lists of academic staff from institutions around the world, and using our own network of global researchers to generate lists of colleagues worldwide. With the initial list of 480 people, we developed an automated script in Python to interrogate the Scopus database each day and pull data on h-index, number of papers, citations and other metrics. This is tabulated and information for the ‘Top 200’ (based on h-index) is published.
The list continues to grow, mainly via a reporting tool on the site which allows colleagues to nominate themselves or others for inclusion; over the first year of the site, around 40 colleagues have been added to the database. Almost all were ‘outside’ the Top 200, suggesting our initial work to include the best cited optometrists in the field was largely successful.
The reception to the work has been generally positive. The paper describing our approach is the most widely read of the current crop at Clinical and Experimental Optometry. League tables of this format have limitations, as outlined in the paper itself and more recently by Eric Papas who presents a series of good arguments.
Overall, the work is designed as a celebration of research work in our field; providing a spotlight to optometrist researchers worldwide and hopefully improving recognition for their work at their institutions and amongst their peers.