Study aim: citations to the publications of a scholar have been used as a measure of the quality or influence of their research record. A world-wide descriptive study of the citations to the publications of biomechanics scholars of various academic ranks was conducted.
Material and methods: Google Scholar Citations was searched for user profiles reporting “biomechanics” as an interest area and data recorded if they had at least one citation to their publications. Total citations, academic rank, and country were recorded for 2,067 scholars from 79 countries. Additional data were collected and analyzed for most cited (top 15%) biomechanics scholars holding the rank of professor.
Results: there was a significant (p < 0.0001) difference in the distribution of citations between all ranks, and all ranks had large variation and were positively skewed. The ranking of the most cited scholar profiles at the rank of professor was influenced by normalizing citation counts for numbers of co-authors.
Conclusions: percentile rank citation data from this study may be useful to supplement peer-evaluation of biomechanics scholar’s Google Scholar publication records, particularly if the number of co-authors contributing their citations is taken into account.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.