Another Measure of the Bureau’s Success

August 11, 2022
Drawing from paper

Paleogeographic map of the southern midcontinent region during the middle Mississippian Period showing Barnett Shale sample locations. Four cores are cited in this study: Mitchell Energy Corp. T.P. Sims #2 (S), Texas United Blakely #1 (B), Houston Oil & Minerals Walker #D-1-1 (W), and Houston Oil & Minerals Neal #A-1-1 (N). Also shown are 14 other wells from which samples were analyzed. Modified from Ruppel and Loucks (2008).

There are many ways to measure success. In today’s social media world, the number of followers you have or the number of times your video was viewed lets you know what others think. Television programs rely on ratings, and movies track box office returns. In academia, the number of times one’s published research paper is cited by other researchers is a powerful measure of success, and, with its researchers’ citations, the Bureau of Economic Geology certainly measures up.

One of the Bureau’s primary objectives is to earn and maintain an international reputation as a leading scientific research institution working at the confluence of energy and other natural resources, the environment, and economics. In order to accomplish this objective, the organization places a very high value on the main product of its research, the published papers of its researchers. Publishing is not only encouraged but is a key component in evaluating a researcher’s performance. Over the past four years, the Bureau’s researchers have published approximately 125 peer-reviewed papers annually.

These papers share new scientific insights and innovative findings with the world, and other researchers take note by citing them in their own research. The number of times a particular paper is cited is a strong indication of how groundbreaking or important it may have been to the scientific community. The number of citations a published paper receives can be measured using online tools, and Bureau authors are frequently cited by their peers.

A 2009 paper in the Journal of Sedimentary Research titled  “Morphology, genesis, and distribution of nanometer-scale pores in siliceous mudstones of the Mississippian Barnett Shale,” by Robert Loucks, Robert Reed, the late Steve Ruppel, and Bureau collaborator Dan Jarvie, has just passed the 3,000-citation mark, demonstrating tremendous academic recognition. This marks Loucks’ third paper with more than 1,000 citations. Among other current Bureau researchers who have had papers with 1,000 or more citations are Julia Gale, Charles Kerans, Jerry Lucia, Kitty Milliken, Bridget Scanlon, and Tongwei Zhang. Many other researchers have had papers published that have hundreds of citations.

The substantial number of citations that Bureau of Economic Geology researchers’ papers have earned over the years is a strong indication of the great international reputation that the organization and its renowned researchers maintain.

images from paper

Secondary electron (SE) images at same scale showing the difference in surface topography between A) a mechanically polished surface and B) an Ar-ion-beam cut surface. Note that the relief of the mechanically polished surface (A) exceeds the diameter of most shale pores. Blakely #1, 2,196.4 m.


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