The authors propose a novel bibilometric index, the reverberation index (r-index), as a comparative assessment tool for use in determining differential reverberation between scientific fields for a given scientific entity. Conversely, this may allow comparison of 2 similar scientific entities within a single scientific field. This index is calculated using a relatively simple 3-step process. Briefy, Thompson Reuters' Web of Science is used to produce a citation report for a unique search parameter (this may be an author, journal article, or topical key word). From this citation report, a list of citing journals is retrieved from which a weighted ratio of citation patterns across journals can be calculated. This r-index is then used to compare the reverberation of the original search parameter across different fields of study or wherever a comparison is required. The advantage of this novel tool is its ability to transcend a specific component of the scientific process. This affords application to a diverse range of entities, including an author, a journal article, or a topical key word, for effective comparison of that entity's reverberation within a scientific arena. The authors introduce the context for and applications of the r-index, emphasizing neurosurgical topics and journals for illustration purposes. It should be kept in mind, however, that the r-index is readily applicable across all fields of study.
- Scientific literature