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Alzheimer’s Disease Research: Scientific Productivity and Impact of the Top 100 Investigators in the Field


The online availability of scientific-literature databases and natural-language-processing (NLP) algorithms has enabled large-scale bibliometric studies within the field of scientometrics. Using NLP techniques and Thomson ISI reports, an initial analysis of the role of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) within the neurosciences as well as a summary of the various research foci within the AD scientific community are presented. Citation analyses and productivity filters are applied to post-1984, AD-specific subsets of the PubMed and Thomson ISI Web-of-Science literature bases to algorithmically identify a pool of the top AD researchers. From the initial pool of AD investigators, top-100 rankings are compiled to assess productivity and impact. One of the impact and productivity metrics employed is an AD-specific H-index. Within the AD-specific H-index ranking, there are many cases of multiple AD investigators with similar or identical H-indices. In order to facilitate differentiation among investigators with equal or near-equal H indices, two derivatives of the H-index are proposed: the Second-Tier H-index and the Scientific Following H-index. Winners of two prestigious AD-research awards are highlighted, membership to the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences is acknowledged, and an analysis of highly-productive, high-impact, AD-research collaborations is presented.