Twice as good as a hamster

D hamsterBy one increasingly common measure of how good you are as a scientist, I am twice as good a scientist as Tisha the (now sadly late) hamster. Beating a dead hamster in a field that apparently requires high levels of intelligence is quite unsatisfying. The measure is the average number of references people have made to my scientific papers. I have published about 100 scientific papers, and Google Scholar reckons that they are cited about 21 times each on average. Tisha’s paper has been cited 12 times.¬†Incidentally, the picture above is not of Tisha but just one of a random hamster I got from Wikimedia.

To be fair on me, Tisha is not just any old hamster, she was the hamster of Nobel and IgNobel laureate Andre Geim. Also, I guess that most of the work on their joint paper was done by Prof Sir Andre Geim FRS, and rather less by Tisha, although I like to think Tisha got early drafts of the paper to use as bedding.

But still the fact that I am beating a hamster by such a small margin is a bit worrying, and there is a clear trend to use metrics like citations-per-paper more and more for assessing academic scientists. I guess I had better work hard, I have a hamster nipping at my heels.