By 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.