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Journal & Citation Metrics: Author Metrics


The h-index is an attempt to sum up a scholar in a single number that balances productivity and impact. For example, a researcher with an h-index of 14 has published at 14 papers over the course of her career that have each accumulated at least 14 citations.

Today, this number is used for both informal evaluation (like sizing up colleagues) and formal evaluation (like tenure and promotion). But it has four major flaws as a measure:

  1. The h-index is heavily discipline-dependent (thanks to the differing norms for citations that we described above) and is also dependent upon a researcher's seniority in the field.
  2. Doesn't take books, data, software, or other important scholarly outputs into account.
  3. Doesn't take authorship rank into account (i.e., if the author was first author, last author, or any other order of author that communicates responsibility for the content of the paper).
  4. It accounts for only a very specific type of impact (scholarly attention) and doesn't address other types of impact (usefulness for practicioners, effects on the private sector, etc).

Web of Science and Google Scholar both calculate h-index based on their database of citations - the boxes below show how to find it in each resource.

h-index: Web of Science

To find an author's H-index in Web of Science, first you must find their author profile. This can be quickly done by searching for any article they have published and clicking on their author link. This will pull up a search with all of their articles, with a "Create Citation Link", as shown below.


h-index: Google Scholar

Google Scholar calculates not only h-index, but the i10-index for authors with a public profile which must created by the author.

The i10-index is simply the number of articles with at least 10 citations.

In Google Scholar, searching for an author will pull up the profile as the first result if they have a Google Scholar profile. Clicking on the profile will bring you to their profile page, which includes both metrics, as seen below.


Author & Article Level Metrics