• 2010.08.29 - Topp software updated with bug fixes. Topp 1.1, the newest version of the software, addresses several bugs reported by early users. Thanks for the bug reports!
  • 2010.08.19 - Topp research article published in PLoS ONE.

About Topp

Topp is a software tool that performs semi-automated estimation of the publication and citation record for an individual (or individuals) as well as subsequent calculation of various citation indices. The tool applies a series of stringent filters to the raw results of Google Scholar, thereby eliminating false positives. Because these false positives can severely inflate citation indices, our method significant outperforms methods that use Google Scholar results as is. Because our method automates the task of filtering publications, Topp can provide dramatic time-savings for those needing to compute citation information for many individuals.

The Story. The Topp citation engine is the work of Professor Derek Ruths and his PhD student, Faiyaz Al Zamal. A particularly extensive departmental performance evaluation provided the motivation to develop the tool: Derek was tasked with the job of computing citation indices for several schools, which amounted to obtaining citation indices for over 200 professors. When confronted with the choice of either (1) spending several days building citation records by hand or (2) using Google Scholar results directly (which were clearly wrong in most cases), we decided that it was time to advance the state of the art. Several sleepless nights later, Topp was born.

Why Topp? The name of our tool pays homage to the Topps company which came to fame when it began publishing sports statistics on baseball cards. We consider our tool to be providing the academic equivalent: statistics on the academic player of your choice.


At present, Topp is only available as a downloadable python package. After downloading the file, extract the contents and, inside, you will find details on how to setup and use the tool.

We are actively working on a polished version of the tool which will be available for purchase. If you would like to be notified when this software package is available, please email us.

Citing Topp

If you use this tool in your research, please cite the following publication:

Ruths D, Zamal FA, 2010 A Method for the Automated, Reliable Retrieval of Publication-Citation Records. PLoS ONE 5(8): e12133. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012133