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Forty-plus Australians among world’s top 200 optometry researchers

A new website specifically created to identify and celebrate leading optometric researchers worldwide boasts more than 40 Australians, including one of the website’s co-creators.

Prof Konrad Pesudovs.

Updated automatically every 24 hours and classified using publication metrics, it currently ranks Adelaide optometrist Professor Konrad Pesudovs first, Queensland’s Emeritus Professor Nathan Efron sixth and the late Professor Brien Holden tenth.

The Global Optometrist Top 200 Research Rankings website is the brainchild of Efron, from Queensland University of Technology, Professor Philip Morgan, from The University of Manchester, UK; Professor Lyndon Jones, from the University of Waterloo, Canada; Mr George Morgan from Imperial College London; and Dr Jason Nichols from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The site, which also includes a search function, was created based on a paper they co-authored published in Clinical and Experimental Optometry, Optometry Australia’s journal, edited by Efron.

Emeritus Prof Nathan Efron.

In the paper, they explain how they identified 480 names in an extensive global search of leading optometric researchers, which was then cut to 200.

Using a custom-designed bibliographic search tool, they were able to rank individuals by their h-index (a numerical indicator of how productive and influential a researcher is), number of publications, years of active publishing, and number of citations.

The top 200 researchers have each published between 28 and 440 papers.

Pesudovs, affiliated with the University of New South Wales, currently has the highest h-index (67) and citations (51,193). The most prolific author is Montreal-based Robert Hess (442 papers). According to published results, Spain’s David Piñero is publishing at the fastest rate (17.6 papers per year).

Of the 72 institutions represented, the University of California, Berkeley, is home to the most top 200 optometrists (17) and has the highest combined h-index of top 200 optometrists (132).

Forty-three (21.5%) of the top 200 optometrists work in Australia.

Prof Brien Holden.

Co-creator and co-author Lyndon Jones, currently ranked 14th, said it’s incredible to see the efforts of researchers with a background in optometry reflected through the new tool.

“While I’m humbled to be among many peers and friends, I am even more enthusiastic to see the growing impact of new research and researchers, helping the field continue to evolve. This publication certainly confirms the fact that optometry is an evidence-based discipline,” Jones said.

Outlining the clinical relevance of this project, the authors state: “Clinical optometric practice is underpinned by a rigorous research base, the primary evidence for which is publications in refereed scientific journals. Leading optometrists who publish this work should be identified and celebrated.”

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