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Library Notice

H-index - developed by Professor Jorge Hirsch in 2005 - is currently the most widely used author-level metric that measures both productivity (no. of papers) and impact of an author's scholarly output (no. of citations). The index is based on both the number of papers published, and the number of citations those papers have received. Researchers can obtain their h-index from Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar.

h-index = No. of Papers (h), with Citation Counts ≥ (h)

Reflection on h-index:

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Currently the most widely-adopted indicator that reflects both quantity (publications) and impact (citations)
  • Unlikely to be affected by a single or few influential papers
  • Compare researchers in the same discipline with a relatively objective factor
  • Not favour for researchers at early-career
  • Ignore author order and the quality of the reference (either positive or negative)
  • Potentially open to manipulation, e.g. self-citation; routine citation among a group
  • Counts only citation in journals indexed in a specific database (e.g. Web of Science, Scopus), representing only a small portion of journals in some disciplines, e.g. arts & humanities
  • h-index can vary from different sources with different publications index and over different time coverage.

Tools for getting h-index

  • Scopus - provides a Citation Tracker feature that allows for generation of a Citation Overview chart to generate a h-index for publications and citations mainly from 1996 to current. The feature also allows for removal of self-citations from the overall citation counts.
  • Web of Science - generates h-index for publications and citations from 1970 to current using the "Create Citation Report" feature.
  • Google Scholar - provides the h-index for authors who owns a Google Scholar profile.
  • Publish or Perish - a software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations from Google Scholar and provides the h-index among other metrics. A handy tool for those who do not have a Google Scholar profile.

Other Alternate Author Indexes

  • g-index - considered as a complement to h-index, but weights more on highly-cited articles. An index of g means, the top g articles received (together) is at least g² citations.
  • i10-index - created by Google Scholar and being used only in Google, indicating number of publications have at least 10 citations.
  • hc-index (contemporary h-index) - gives more weight to recent publications, attempting to correct the problem of h-index that favours senior researchers.
  • m-quotient - divides h-index by the no. of years since the researcher's first published paper, which help young researchers who may not have long publication list.