Evaluation of the Relative Citation Ratio, a New National Institutes of Health–Supported Bibliometric Measure of Research Productivity, among Academic Radiation Oncologists

Calvin B. Rock, Arpan V. Prabhu, C. David Fuller, Charles R. Thomas, Emma B. Holliday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Publication metrics are useful in evaluating academic faculty for awarding grants, recruitment, and promotion. A new metric, the relative citation ratio (RCR), was recently released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); however, no benchmark data yet exist. We sought to create benchmark data for physician faculty in academic radiation oncology (RO) and analyze correlations associated with increased academic productivity. Methods: Citation database searches were performed for all US radiation oncologists affiliated with academic RO programs. Gender, NIH funding, career duration, academic rank, RCR, and weighted RCR were collected for each faculty. RCR and weighted RCR were calculated and compared between each subgroup of interest. RCR percentiles were also created for reference. Results: A total of 1,299 RO physician faculty members from 75 institutions were included in the analysis. Overall, RO physician were very productive and influential with a mean RCR of 1.57 ± 1.53 SD and median RCR (interquartile range) of 1.32 (0.87-1.94). Academic rank, career duration, and NIH funding were associated with increased mean RCR and weighted RCR. Male gender and having a PhD were associated with an increased weighted RCR but not an increased mean RCR. Conclusions: Current academic radiation oncologists have a high mean RCR value relative to the benchmark NIH RCR value of 1. All subgroups analyzed had an RCR value above 1 with professor or chair and previous NIH funding having the highest RCR and weighted RCR values overall. These data may be useful for self-evaluation of ROs as well as evaluation of faculty by institutional and departmental leaders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-474
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018



  • Bibliometrics
  • citations
  • productivity
  • radiation oncology
  • relative citation ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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