I thought it was about time to update this listing and I had some spare time over the Xmas holidays to work on this (hayfever at my in-law's place in Taranaki laid me out for a day or two). I'm now finishing this up during the Easter holidays. Has anything changed in the past two years? I was also curious to find out which funding agencies were funding these researchers and whether the researchers they published was open access or not.
The HRC were very excited about the 2010-2012 results . Are they still funding the hottest research in NZ.
The rules of the game are the same as last time. Briefly, use Scopus "affiliation search" to find articles with a NZ address listed, select only articles published between 2012 and 2014, sort these on the number of citations and remove any with fewer than 10 citations. I then exported the results to a text file and wrote a little script that would remove articles with more than 20 authors, parse author names and count the number of times each name appeared and the total citation count.
I had to do some manual curation of the data too. C. Michael Hall, a professor of marketing at University of Canterbury and Christopher J. Hall, a senior research fellow at the University of Auckland were counted as the same person. I only checked the 50 most prolific authors, so some homonyms and other errors may have still slipped through.
At the same time I identified the host institution of the top 50 authors and I checked the top three most cited articles for each author. If the articles were open-access (OA), I recorded this and I checked the "Acknowledgements" section of the OA articles to see which NZ-based funding agencies were listed.
All of the results are listed in this GoogleDocs spreadsheet. There are 288 authors listed, further data is only available for the top 50 authors though. Feel free to play find your and your friend's names on the list.
In the top 10 researchers were Ian Reid, Christian Hartinger, Michael W. Taylor and John A. Windsor from the University of Auckland; Shinichi Nakagawa, Richard Beasley and Christine Winterbourn from the University of Otago; Edward J Gane and Harvey D White from Auckland City Hospital; and Philip W Boyd from NIWA.
Once again Ian Reid, professor of medicine and endocrinology, has topped the table. Just beating Christian Hartinger, an associate professor in the School of Chemical Sciences by 32 citations.
How much of this high-profile research is being made available to the public that is largely funding it? I found that 26% of the researchers were exclusively publishing their research behind paywalls (at least the few articles I had time to check). This isn't as bad as I thought it would be. 40% of researchers had published at least some of their research with OA models (possibly because this was required by the funding agencies of co-authors). 32% appeared to publishing all of their research with OA models. I only spotted one researcher, Miro Erkintalo , a physicist at the University of Auckland, using green OA publishing (i.e. depositing preprints in arxiv.org or similar). Obviously NZ researchers could do far more to make their research available but the uptake amongst this group is respectable, proving that OA publishing certainly doesn't do your profile any harm.
What about the funding agencies? Unfortunately I was unable to check who was funding the research that was exclusively published with closed-access models (i.e. locked behind paywalls). For those three articles that I checked for each author in the top 50 I recorded the NZ-based funding agencies listed in the Acknowledgements. Nearly 60% of the authors either listed no funding agencies, or their work was inaccessible. Of the remainder, 13% of authors were funded by the HRC (or collaborating with HRC funded researchers). Likewise, 12% were supported by the Marsden Fund, 7% were supported by Rutherford Discovery Fellowships and 8% were supported by MSI or FRST funding. 10% were supported by other agencies, these were the Otago Research Fund, LactoPharma, NZ Breast Cancer Research Trust, Cancer Society of NZ, NZ Ministry of Health and the National Heart Foundation of NZ.
It was very pleasing to see so many Rutherford Discovery Fellows in the top 50 of NZ's hottest researchers. This is a comparatively new funding scheme that aims to "attract and retain New Zealand’s most talented early- to mid-career researchers". In a short time it is already, demonstrably, having an impact on the NZ research scene. -- Disclaimer: I was one of the inaugural recipients of the fellowship.
Now, I'd better get back to grading assignments and think about what I'm going to cook for my little horrors' dinner.