Bibliometrics and Impact Factor: h-index

This guide explains how impact factor is used and calculated in journal and article rankings, as well as other methods of citation analysis.

h-index of 241

If your h-index score is 241, that means you have at least 241 papers/articles that have been cited by at least 241 other papers/articles.

Congratulations! That is a high h-index score.

Databases with h-index

Any database could measure an h-index from its citation data.

Currently, Web of Science and Scopus (look in Author Details) display it.

Dr. Hirsch

Dr. J. E. Hirsch created the h-index in the paper "An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output" in 2005.Dr. J. E. Hirsch

He asked and answered "How does one quantify the cumulative impact and relevance of an individual’s scientific research output?"

A scientist has index h if h of his or her Np papers have at least h citations each and the other (Np-h) papers have <h citations each.

Measuring a Researcher's Impact

Using the h-index:

  • Measures broad impact of and individual’s work
  • Unbiased way of comparing people within a discipline, especially in the sciences

Finding an author's h-index with Scopus

Finding an author's h-index with Web of Science

h-index for Computer Science

An example of the use of h-index is the list of top researchers in computer science, ranked by h-index score.

Citation Measurements

Data that is used for citation measurements include:

  • Number of times an author is cited
  • Number of times an article is cited
  • Number of articles published
  • Number of articles published in a journal yearly
  • Number of journals in a subject area
  • Journals by frequency of publication
  • Half Lives of Articles
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