H-index

citationsh-indexgoogle scholarpublish or perishweb of sciencescopus

The h-index, also called the Hirsch index (after the inventor and physicist Jorge E. Hirsch), or Highly Cited Index, was introduced in 2005. The h-index expresses the productivity of an author as a single number, both in terms of quantity and quality, offering an alternative to traditional methods, which typically focus on either productivity or quality.

The h-index is very simple. For example, if you have an h-index of 9, this means that your nine most cited publications have been cited at least nine times.

Pros and cons

Its method of calculation works best within comparable subject domains, since it treats books and journals identically, disregards authorship, and citation practices vary.

One of the main advantages of this method is that it partially eliminates fluctuations due to individual publications being cited very many times. It is also beneficial if you have many publications but only a few citations for each one.

The index was conceived as a tool for assessing researchers who are at similar stages in their careers. However, since only the most cited works count, an elder researcher, all things being equal, will have a higher h-index than a younger one.

How do you calculate your h-index?

You can easily calculate your h-index using Scopus and Web of Science. Furthermore, Publish or Perish is the basis for calculations using Google Scholar. Thus a different h-index can be calculated for the same person, depending on which base is used.

Example

Two scientists with the same h-index: scientist A with very few highly cited papers and scientist B with many lowly cited papers.

Paper

Citations

Scientist A

Scientist B

1

51

6

2

34

5

3

29

4

4

22

4

5

3

3

6

1

3

7

0

2

8

 

2

9

 

1

10

 

0

11

 

0

h

4

4

 

Jorge E. Hirsch's original article:

Hirsch, Jorge E. (2005) An index to quantify an individual's research output. http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0508/0508025v5.pdf


  • 11.07.2013 Redigeret af Ditte Schjødt Svensson
  • 19.02.2013 Redigeret af Mogens Kragsig Jensen
  • 06.12.2012 Oprettet af Mogens Kragsig Jensen