Excellence Mapping
August 7, 2013 6:06 AM   Subscribe

A few people at the Max Planck Society have put together an interactive visualizer of research paper quality called Excellence Mapping (Requires you to email a bot for a password). It shows the number of papers published at each institution in a given field, as well as the percentage of those papers in the top 10% of papers cited in that field. Some potentially surprising results come up, as noted by the Physics ArXiV blog: “In physics and astronomy, for example, two of the top three institutions in physics and astronomy are Spanish: the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona and ICREA (Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats) also in Barcelona. Ranked 8th, above Harvard and MIT, is Partners Healthcare System, a non-profit healthcare organisation based in Boston that funds research, mostly in the life sciences.” The creators of the tool also published a paper on the ArXiV about their techniques.
posted by Maecenas (9 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Economics has something similar (rankings of authors and institutions by citations and various related metrics) at RePEc but without the visualization aspect. Not sure what the RePEc methodology is or how (if at all) it differs from what the creators of this thing used.
posted by dismas at 6:19 AM on August 7, 2013

activity != excellence. the raison d'etre of science is not to produce papers, unless you are a science bureaucrat... which so many "physicists" are.

(plus it doubles as an email harvester)
posted by ennui.bz at 6:47 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]

Excellent research = research that other scientists deem worthwile to cite.
Do you have a better metric for excellence?
posted by Zigurana at 9:00 AM on August 7, 2013

Research is also cited for the purpose of refutation. You can't get away with writing "Some people think that r±0.003 is sufficient to explain this phenomenon, but let me tell you something..."
posted by ardgedee at 9:22 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Excellent research = research that other scientists deem worthwile to cite.

There's more to excellence than that. How often a paper is cited is meaningful, but you risk overweighting minor research applicable to a large number of people and underweighting groundbreaking research only applicable to a few. That system also tends to overestimate the importance of methods papers.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:22 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]

Does anyone have a password?
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:26 AM on August 7, 2013

Nevermind. Enter this in your modern browser's javascript console:
document.getElementById("login").style.display = "none";
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:28 AM on August 7, 2013 [5 favorites]

I like that it includes MSR for Computer Science, p = 0.305; which is greater than both my undergrad, p = 0, and graduate school, p = 0.227.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:33 AM on August 7, 2013

This is pretty cool, but some of their geolocation is off. For example South Dakota State university is not in Northern California. Regardless, it was fun to play with and revel in the greatness of my alma mater compared to its rivals.
posted by z11s at 10:38 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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