DEFINITION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A NEW INDICATOR FOR THE QUALITY OF THE SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION DERIVED FROM THE DOCTORATE THESIS

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) uses several objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, and number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index.
Research groups at universities are responsible of some of those indicators since the knowledge they produce is related to the number of indexed articles, their impact on the scientific community yielding the corresponding cites. On the other hand, doctoral theses are carried out in research groups, their results being the material that will be published. Therefore, doctorate students should be conscious of the relevance of their finds in relation to their influence on the ARWU ranking.
In this sense, the research group leaders are supposed to create a publication culture where a good balance between quality and amount is desirable for articles. One of the ways to stimulate that compromise on students consists of measuring the quality of the articles derived from a particular thesis. Thus, the purpose of the work herein presented is the definition of a new indicator providing that information. This indicator can be used by research groups, but also by faculties, universities or other institutions to have quantitative information of their thesis not only after they are finished but also while they are being carried out. This is due to the fact that this new indicator uses the impact of the scientific journals as a basic parameter but considering the differences between distinct research fields. Therefore, it can be used to compare different institutions. Additionally, this new indicator exhibits the advantage of being able to be adaptable as an assessment tool for the individual strategic plans of a particular institution.
In addition to the definition of this new indicator, the work herein presented also includes the description of the implementation experience carried out in EIDOS, a research group of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) during the past years.