Scholar Plot: Measuring Faculty Academic Performance
University of Houston computer science professor Ioannis Pavlidis’ Computational Physiology Lab led the creation of a user-friendly, online interface to evaluate aspects of faculty research performance.
The interface, named Scholar Plot, has garnered the attention of faculty around the world as a metric for their work. The theory behind Scholar Plot appeared last month as a paper in the journal Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics.
Pavlidis, the Eckhart Pfeiffer Professor at UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, said the idea for Scholar Plot grew out of his lab’s study of how cross-disciplinary science can evolve, with the field of genomics as the case study. Through funding from the National Science Foundation and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Pavlidis and his lab gathered large amounts of data about computer scientists and biology researchers in the U.S.
With this information, Pavlidis thought they could do something creative and of broader appeal and use.
“That’s how the Scholar Plot started evolving,” he said. “It was an idea about visualizing data about all these researchers from open sources that will allow them to see how they stand with respect to other researchers in similar fields.”
The online interface works by gathering bibliographic and NSF and NIH research funding data on faculty members from online, public sources. Through nominal and normalized metrics, it addresses biases in the collected data. The information is then disseminated online on scholarplot.org.