## The H-Index: A Current Tool for Evaluating a Researcher

Scientometrics, the quantitative measurement and analysis of science, has been used to investigate the impact of research publications and other research outputs. In recent years, a scientometric indicator called h-index has gained popularity and recognition in the assessment of research output.

Aspiring scientist and researcher need  to constantly be reminded to research a lot, publish a lot more and keep on writing scientific papers. One of the ways to be motivated to work harder and to get better is to know  performance. H-index is one way to measure a researcher’s performance. H-index is increasingly used to provide information on the scholarly output in connection with a researcher’s  career advancement or award of financial assistance.

What is the h-index? H-index stands for Hirsch index. First introduced by Jorge E. Hirsh in 2005, it is a relatively simple way to calculate and measure the impact of a scientist.  The h-index is a measure of an individual’s scientific research output. According to Hirsch, “A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np − h) papers have no more than h citations each”. The h-index is  a small number with a big impact.

How is h-index calculated? The h-index is computed through a plot based on the distribution of citations received to the publications of a researcher. An individual has an index of h, if h papers have at least h citations each. This index translates the impact (the number of citations) and the scope (the number of papers) of a scientist’s work into a straight number. For example, if your h-index is 11, it means that you have 11 papers that have been cited at least 11 times. You may have more papers, suppose 24 papers, only 11 of these papers are cited at least 11 times by other researchers, indicating that other 13 papers have 10 or fewer citations. The h-index will reach 12, only if 12 papers receive a minimum of 12 citations.

The following is the calculation method:

To determine the h-index of the above researcher, organize articles in descending order, based on the number of times they have been cited. Thus, he has twenty-four papers that have been cited 37, 35, 30, 28, 27,21,17, 17, 17, 16, 15,10 and 4 times, o times (paper 14 to 24)  the individual’s h-index would be 11. The first paper 37, gives us a 1 – there is one paper that has been cited at least once, the second paper gives a 35, there are two papers that have been cited at least twice, the third paper, 30 and all the way up to 11 with the eleventh highest paper –the remaining  thirteen papers have no effect in this case as they have been cited less than eleven times

 Paper Citation 1 37 2 35 3 30 4 28 5 27 6 21 7 17 8 17 9 17 10 16 11 15 12 10 13 4 14 to 24 0

Key h-index tools

One should cite the database source from which the h-index was derived. It depends on which database you use: Web of Science (Thomson Reuters), Scopus (Elsevier) or Google Scholar. Web of Science  and Scopus collect and organize citation counts and can calculate an individual’s h-index. Likewise, Google Scholar collects citations and calculates and author’s via Google Scholar Citation. However, each source may determine a different value of the h-index for each individual.

Each database considers only those citations in the journals listed in each of the databases. The Web of Science, as mentioned earlier, is not an open access database. Scopus allows viewing your only h-index (without Scopus account). The Google Scholar searches all web-based information both peer and non-peer reviewed literature, which results in considerably higher h-indices. In general, it is found that Google Scholar gives a higher h-index for the same researcher when compared to other two databases. Google Scholar is the only one of the three that is freely accessible to the general population. One can easily create Homepage of Google Scholar citation by signing in Gmail account that automatically calculates and updates h-index and its metrics.

Citations to papers mean that someone used your work or thought it was relevant to mention in the context of their own work. Academician especially young researchers are always favourable towards metrics that make them look good. By keeping track of  h-index one can have an idea of how well you have done in your research domain. Despite a few limitations, there is now enough evidence to show that the use of the h-index has become popular and acceptable.

## My Thoughts of Feeling Good

WHAT GOOD FEELING MEANS TO ME .…..

• Eating Bengali cuisine: right from alur dom, mochar ghonto, alu potoler dalna .. to the aroma of panch phoron in the fish curry
• Receiving the bank’s SMS at last working day of a month, informing me of credit of month’s salary
• Drinking a cup of Darjeeling tea with a half teaspoon of sugar, with no milk, at the beginning of every morning
• Receiving appreciation from my wife
• Googling my name and finding a lot of results
• Receiving Google Scholar’s Gmail alert, notifying the citations of my articles
• Receiving praises for my articles, especially from someone unknown
• Crossing the busy road in the city holding my daughter’s hand
• Connecting friends of distant past on social network
• Gifting to my close relatives
• Visiting an old place after years

## Hallowed Town of Cosmic Dancer, Chidambaram

The first image that comes to mind at the mere mention of the Chidambaram is the majestic (Nataraja) temple town and the religious specialty attached to it. The sense of consciousness one feels in the town, and the architectural excellence depicted, is divine and symbolic. It is here that Lord Shiva as Nataraja, the Dancing Shiva is believed to have performed the cosmic dance. The Nataraja is one of the most celebrated images of any Hindu deity, renowned widely across all of India and all over the world.

Sivaganga Tank and north gopuram in the Nataraja Temple

Situated about 240 KM south of the capital city of Chennai on about 10 KM inland of the Coromandel Coast, is reputed to be sacred place and one of the holiest of all Shiva temples in South India. In the centre of the town stands the grandiose Nataraja Temple spreads over 40 acres, with its four gopurams (tower gates) towering over the town and is visible from a long distance.

Magnificent four gopurams is visible from a long distance

Chidambaram is synonymous with exquisite Nataraja Temple. Its origin dates back to the Chola reign from AD 907 to 1310; and the Nataraja Temple was built during the latter part of Chola administration. Coastal plain along the Coromandel Coast south of Pondicherry is a highly fertile delta of Cauvery River and is famous for its intensely green rice field that has been farmed since ancient times. This fertile Cauvery delta formed the heartland of the Chola Empire, which reached its pinnacle of glory in the period between 10th and 14th centuries during which they stamped their influence on religious art, cultural richness and the sheer scale on profession of architectural creation.

Green paddy fields in Cauvery delta area

A visit to the Nataraja Temple affords a fascinating glimpse into ancient Tamil religious practice and belief and the huge temple complex with its majestic gopurams speak testimony to the splendid specimens of the Chola architecture. A visitor approaches at the temple main entrance through the east gopuram, off East Car street, is bound to overwhelmed by the exquisitely sculptures of 108 different dance postures of the classical dance form, Bharatnatyam inside the gopuram corresponding to the descriptions in the Sanskrit treatise,  NATYA SHASTRA.  The west gopuram also has similar carved figures.

Main entrance through east gopuram, off East Car Street

Classical dance postures carved on inside eastern gopuram

The Nataraja and Parvati are enshrined in the sanctum (known as chit sabha), and the roof of sanctum is covered with golden plates. Five silver plated steps lead to the chit sabha representing five syllables of the Shiva mantra “na-ma-si-va-ya”. It is unique in the sense that it is the only temple where Shiva is worshiped as an idol rather than the customary Lingam. To the right of Nataraja in the sanctum there is an empty space, covered with a silk curtain and is lifted during the time of worship, is believed to symbolize the void (or space) is known as Rahasayam (mystery). It is considered as a formless manifestation of Shiva –representing the deity is an empty space.  The temple is also unique in that it has both Shiva and Vishnu sanctums near each other.

Chitsabha, the sanctum with golden roof (Image source: web)

Chidambaram’s Nataraja Temple draws thousands of pilgrims, worshipers and visitors from all around the world. The annual 5-day Natyanjali festival in February/March attracts dancers to celebrate and pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja. The place is a living testimony of ancient astrological and geological knowledge. It is the center point of world’s magnetic equator and is said to be the centre of Universe.

Dance performance at Natyanjali festival

Chidambaram is also home to Annamalai University established in 1929 and located on the eastern outskirts of the town.

Another source of attraction for the visitors is the Pichavaram forest, located 15 KM east of town which is an area of backwaters fringed by mangroves with rare species of flora and fauna – a paradise for nature-lovers.

Pichavaram forest with backwater and mangroves, 15 KM east of Chidambaram

Chidamabaram is an extremely friendly and safe town. It has all the facilities for modern lifestyles. There seems to be something for everyone in the town. A visit to this place would definitely leave everyone with memories that will not fade away over time.

Posted in My musings | 1 Comment

## How to check indian railway ticket confirmation chances

Thousands of commuters travel every day via Indian railways. Anyone who’s traveled quite a bit on trains in India has no doubt had an Indian Railways waiting list ticket. The necessity of booking waitlist ticket is more today since railway allows booking tickets 4 months in advance and also during peak seasons tickets in some trains for dates even as far ahead of 2/3 months are available as wait listed.

Waiting List Ticket: Nobody is allowed  to travel with a WL ticket in a reserved coach, unless the ticket is promoted to RAC or CNF status before departure.  However, with a low-numbered WL ticket there is  a good chance of getting it confirmed.  I had WL places between WL1 and WL10 or even WL20 on numerous trips, but always successfully got promoted to CNF with a confirmed place on the train, usually in the 2 to 4 hours before departure of the train after chart prepration.   And even as it happened in one occasion ticket was promoted to RAC, I could at least traveled.

Solving the problem: There are a few number of websites that claim to predict how likely it is that a particular WL ticket will  be confirmed. They predict the ticket confirmation chances if the ticket is in waitlisted, and they help commuters decide whether to book or not as WL ticket.

India Rail Info Website

Here’s what one need to do:

2. Go to the PNR Forum tab.
3. Enter the PNR (passenger name record) where specified and click on “Post PNR for Prediction/Analysis”.

It will automatically retrieve the details of the booking and post them on the forum. There’s a huge experienced membership that’s made hundreds  of predictions about whether WL tickets will be confirmed.

The website is a amazing source of information about Indian Railways trains (including delays and arrival times),  train rakes, platform, position of coaches etc.

Luxury Tourist Train ( The Golden Chariot)

Trainman website

Trainman website predicts how likely it is that WL ticket will get a confirmed seat/or berth.  Trainman doesn’t require any signup. Once we mention the train, the class, the date of the journey, in the respective dialogue box, we get to check  confirmation chances, and recent trends & analysis. Additionally a  list of trains available on the route is displayed.

The ‘confirmation chances’ mentions  how likely it is that WL ticket will be upgraded to confirmed ticket. The analysis says that anything above 65% holds a good chance. To make it even more useful for the commuters, the analysis uses colour coding systems. Anything in green is good, whereas commuters look for alternative if the percentile is in yellow.

ConfirmTKT.com

Confirmtkt.com  searches Trains, Predicts ticket confirmation chances for the searched trains, helps passengers to take a decision on booking and predicts  the probability of PNR confirmation chances.

ConfirmTKT algorithm (developed two individuals) analyses the past ticketing trends and predicts one’s ticket confirmation chances.

One need to enter the relevant information including PNR status and on clicking status, it provides all the information instantly.

Additionally, on entering email of the user, it sends PNR notification to the user’s email once the PNR gets cofirmed.

Posted in Travel | 2 Comments

## Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The word pharmacy is derived from the Greek word ‘PHARMAKON’, meaning ‘drug’ or ‘medicine’. Pharmacy is a health profession that has the responsibility for ensuring the safe, effective and rational use of medicines. Pharmacy revolves around medicines and their users (i.e. medicine consumers/patient) with special emphasis on the development and manufacture of medicines, their supply, appropriate use and therapeutic effects. The objective of pharmacy profession is to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate medicines and benefits from the proper use of these medicines.

Therefore, Pharmacy is an essential part of the healthcare system of a country.  It is a profession that focuses on improving the quality of people’s lives.

What is Pharmacy ?

Pharmacy is the art and science of preparing and dispensing medications and the provision of drug-related information to the public. (Source – Remington: The science and practice of pharmacy -current edition)

Pharmacy is a health profession based on the chemical, biological and medical sciences. It is concerned with the design, evaluation, production and use of medicines and the provision of medicine related information to the public. (Source- Mendeley )

General population in developing country like India usually calls Pharmacy “Medical store” where medicinal drugs are dispensed or compounded and sold

Pharmacy generally is a professional program for students wishing to become licensed (registered) pharmacists. It is a degree program that prepares students upon successful completion to be eligible for registering, and become practicing pharmacists.

Having obtained a degree in Pharmacy (B. Pharm.) in India, you are only able to practice as a pharmacist when you are registered with the State Pharmacy Council. The registration of pharmacist is governed by the Pharmacy Act, 1948. Being a registered pharmacist you are obligated to abide by the laws that govern pharmacy practice in India, demonstrate good ethical and professional responsibilities towards discharging your duties.

Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

To study Pharmacy you will need to first build a strong foundation in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The pharmaceutical sciences combine a broad range of scientific disciplines that are critical to the discovery, design and development of new drugs and therapies.

Pharmaceutical Sciences deals with the scientific basis of the physical, chemical, biological and the medical aspects of the medicines. Advancement in Pharmaceutical Sciences will impact the practice of Pharmacy.

Pharmacist and a pharmaceutical scientist

Pharmacists work with existing medicines, patients, and other healthcare practitioners to optimize patient care and medicine use.

On the other hand, pharmaceutical scientists are involved in the design and development of new drugs (new molecular entity) and delivery systems; and to improve upon the various modes of administration. They spend most of their time doing research in a pharmaceutical company, laboratory or academia.

Pharmacists are health care professionals whose professional responsibilities and accountabilities include seeking to ensure that people derive maximum therapeutic benefit from their treatments with medicines (FIP Statement) including their chemistry, their formulation into medicines, and the ways they are used to manage diseases. Pharmacy profession in India comprises of industrial, practice, and other sectors.

Pharmacists: What they know?

• How and why medicines work
• How they are developed, formulated and administered
• How they are used in the treatment of disease
• How to promote safe and appropriate use of medicines

The spectrum of pharmacy profession in India is very wide.

Industrial Pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry work with other disciplines in producing medicines of the highest quality and safety. Their works is not in direct contact of patients, yet contribute to the health care sector.

Industrial Pharmacists research drug compounds and develop new medications. They test medications for efficiency and safety to ensure medications are produced accurately, and they engage marketing and promoting new drugs to consumers. An industrial pharmacist may also be responsible for conducting clinical drug trials to evaluate a drug’s effectiveness and to determine potential risks or side effects.

Practicing Pharmacists work in the community and in hospitals as members of the health care team and have special responsibilities for the use of medicines, and in general in direct contact with the patients.

Practicing Pharmacists are close contact with patients and so have an important role both in assisting patents to make best use of prescribed medicines and in advising on the appropriate self-management of self-limiting minor conditions. Pharmacists are also in close working relationship with other members of health care team – doctors, nurses, dentists – where they are able to give advice on a wide range of issues surrounding the use of medicines.

Role of Pharmacists in developed countries

• Become experts in medicines and how medicines work and their manufacture and production.
• Give patients advice and counselling on their medical conditions and medicine use and general issues such as healthy eating, coughs and colds.
• Liaise with other healthcare professionals for example nurses and doctors in order to ensure patients treated in hospitals get the best care.

Subject areas studied in pharmacy

Pharmaceutics: The word ‘pharmaceutics’ is used in pharmacy discipline  to encompass many subject areas that are all associated with the steps to which a drug is subjected towards the end of its development. Pharmaceutics is the study of relationships between drug formulation, delivery, disposition and clinical response. Put at its simplest – pharmaceutics converts a New Molecular Entity (NME) into an effective medicine that can be administered to a patient in a safe and convenient manner.

Pharmaceutics, and therefore is concerned with the scientific and technological aspects of the design and manufacture of dosage forms. It is the most diverse of all the subject areas in pharmaceutical science and encompasses:

• Physical pharmaceutics – Study of the basic physical chemistry necessary for the efficient design of dosage forms (dosage form is defined as a system for carrying drugs)
• Bio-pharmaceutics – Study of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs following administration
• Dosage form design – Design and formulation of medicines
• Pharmaceutical technology – Manufacture of these medicines
• Pharmaceutical microbiology – Study of the avoidance and elimination of microorganisms in medicines.
• Drug delivery Systems – It is an intra-disciplinary field of pharmaceutics that covers the precise delivery of drugs to the body using principles of biomaterials and device technology

Pharmacology: is the study of the effects of drugs on the functioning of living systems. i.e. It is  the science of drugs, including their composition, uses, and effects. Falling within the purview of pharmaceutical sciences, Pharmacology focuses on exactly how drugs work (i.e. mechanism of action) and what kinds of reactions certain drugs cause in our bodies, and how they are used therapeutically.

Pathology (study of examination of organ and tissue to make diagnosis);

Physiology (scientific study of function in living systems);

Biochemistry (is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms);

and Molecular biology (molecular basis of biological activity)

Pharmacognosy: is defined as “the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs or drug substances of natural origin (Natural Drugs) as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources”.

Pharmacognosy is the study of natural product molecules that are useful for their medicinal, ecological, gustatory, or other functional properties.

Within the field of pharmacognosy, many diverse and exciting areas are being studied, including:

• the study of the medicinal properties of natural products, for the purposes of drug discovery;
• the development and use of analytical methods for quality control of natural products in the marketplace;
• the study of the use of traditional remedies by native cultures;
• the microscopic evaluation and species verification of medicinal or economically important natural products;

Pharmaceutical Chemistry is an interdisciplinary field that deals with synthesis, design, structure activity relation, analysis, assay and purity quantification of drugs as chemical compounds. It is the chemistry of drugs and of medicinal and pharmaceutical products.

Pharmaceutical Chemistry is applied in the preparation, synthesis, and standardization, interpretation of drug interactions and analysis of chemical substance for medicinal use.

The fundamental concepts and principles in organic, inorganic, physical, medicinal and analytical chemistry is applied to drugs and pharmaceuticals and then relate these concepts to drug synthesis, manufacturing and quality assurance in the practice of pharmacy.

Pharmaceutical jurisprudence (or Forensic pharmacy):

It derives from the Latin term juris prudentia, which means “the study, knowledge, or science of law.”

The knowledge of pharmaceutical jurisprudence is indispensable in any walk of pharmaceutical profession.

It is the study of rules and regulations of pharmacy, pharmacy practice, and relating to drugs and pharmaceuticals.

Posted in Pharmacy and Medicine | 1 Comment

## A train journey from Chidambaram to Bangalore: Exhaustive albeit through stunning scenery

Every month we visit Bangalore (officially known as Bengaluru) . My daughter is currently working as a software engineer in a reputed MNC located in Marathahalli, a suburb of Bangalore. We go there since it is an opportunity to travel in exposing ourselves in the presence of our nature and culture in addition to being there to stay with our daughter.

JOURNEY: Although there are number of Volvo buses to Bangalore that takes average 8 to 10 hours during night, I prefer to travel in a train for such journey duration. There is only one direct day time passenger train to Bangalore.  The train is Karaikal-Bangalore (56513/56514) passenger train that connect Karaikal, a port city of east coast of India and one of the four regions in the Union Territory of Puducherry with Bangalore. The train has 16 carriages (all unreserved coaches), 53 halts and runs at an amazing average speed of 40 KMPH. All other trains depart from far away station from Chidambaram.

Karaikal-Bangalore Train Route (572 KM)

The train leaves Chidambaram 7.30 in the morning and reaches Carmelaram (a nondescript station is used for entry into Sarjapura road, Electronic city, Marathahalli  and ITPL areas of Bangalore’s IT hub) at 5.30 in the evening covering a distance of 430 KM in almost 10 hours with a miniscule fare of only 75 Rupees and without an agony of advance reservation.

Bangalore (Bengaluru) bound Karaikal-Bangalore Passenger leaving Chidambaram station at 7.30 AM

The train goes to Cuddalore and turns almost 120 degree back to reach Vriddhachalam via number of sleepy villages and Neyveli (A township of large thermal power plant with mines of Lignite).

Neyveli Railway Station, well known amid nondescript villages because of Lignite mines and power plant

The train reaches to Vriddhachalam station at around 10.00 AM  from where it runs opposite direction to take VriddhachalamSalem (pronounced as Selam) route.

The train enters Vriddhachalam Station

As the train leaves Vriddhachalam  towards Salem city it provides ample opportunity to click panoramic views of KALRAYAN HILLS (situated in the Eastern Ghats of Tamilnadu, Avg MSL 2000 ft – 3000 ft) and overlooking lots and lots of lush green fields- in between nature’s shades through many towns and villages.

Cloud capped hill

The train passes through three stations of Salem city (Town, Market and Junction), a steel city of india and also a gateway (25 KM from the city) to  Yercaud, a part of the Servarayan range of hills in the Eastern Ghats known as the’Prince of Hills’.

Salem Junction Station

The hill at eastern ghat

The green and yellow shades at country site

Onward from Salem junction and toward  Hosur, a lot of picturesque natural scenes can be  captured in camera .

On the way to Carmelaram Railway station

Our destination, Carmelaram: The station is an unfamiliar one to most people in Bangalore, and even to call taxi operators. It is situated on the south-eastern corner of the Bangalore city amid vacant grasslands, high rise buildings under constructions, and marble shops. It is nestled in a grove of tall trees off Sarjapur Road, a little after the Wipro IT office. A large number of people from the south-eastern part of Bangalore use Carmelaram station to board and alight from many trains to minimize travel time.

Carmelaram Raillway Station (June 2014)

After about 10 hours of journey, the train reaches Carmelaram in the late afternoon, ready to travel further through Sarjapura road towards needed area of Bangalore IT hub.

## A New Impact Factor

New Impact Factor by Scopus

SNIP: Source Normalized Impact per Paper is based on Scopus citation database which is produced by Elsevier. The SNIP combines a journal’s average citation count per paper with the “citation potential” of its subject area, thereby enabling journals in different subject areas to be compared. SNIPs are available for papers listed in Scopus, so even your journal does not have an Journal IF it may well have a SNIP. It measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa.

The SNIP indicator is defined as the quotient of two other indicators: (i) the journal’s Raw Impact per paper published in the journal (RIP) divided by (ii) the Relative Database Citation Potential (RDCP) in the journal’s sub-field. The numerator, that is, the journal’s Raw Impact per paper published in the journal, is not essentially different from a three-year Impact Factor. The denominator of the SNIP, that is, the Relative Database Citation Potential is defined with reference to the median of the Database Citation Potentials of the journals in the database.

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR):  SJR takes prestige into account when considering the value of a citation. A citation from high profile journal is valued above a citation from a lesser-known journal. It is a measure of the scientific influence or prestige of a journal. The SJR metric is based on Google PageRank™ algorithm. It measures the weighted citations per document. Citations are weighted depending on the prestige of the source where they originate.  SJR is a prestige metric based on the idea that ‘all citations are not created equal’. A SJR value of 1.5 in a given year means that the research article published in the journal in the three previous years received, on average, one and a half weighted citations.

Metrics are useful as they are a means of providing information about research quality and impact of publications. These metrics can be used to track record when applying for grants and promotion. The University Grants Commission (UGC) focuses publications in SCI journals with impact factor and number of citations of publications for academic evaluations. The NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) assesses research areas of academic institution based on publications in impact factor journals and various other citation metrics including SNIP and SJR.

Posted in Pharmacy and Medicine | 2 Comments