USF Shimberg Health Sciences Library

h-Index

Bibliometrics

Bibliometrics is the statistical analysis of written publications, such as books or articles. In academic scholarship, bibliometrics are used to evaluate the influence that a particular author or publication has had upon a particular subject. These measurements are invaluable in determining which journals carry the most weight whether selecting source material or deciding where to submit your own work for publication.

Author Influence (H-Index)

The h-index is an index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output.

-- J.E. Hirsch

The h-index is an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the published body of work of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other publications. The h-index can be manually determined using citation databases or using automatic tools. 

The h-index shows how many papers published by the author have been cited proportionately. An index of h means that the author has papers that have been cited at least times. 

For example, if Dr. Jones has published eight papers but only five of them have been cited five or more times, the maximum h-index Dr. Jones can have is five. 

Publication with Number of Times Cited

  • Publication #1 - cited 33 times
  • Publication #2 - cited 27 times
  • Publication #3 - cited 11 times
  • Publication #4 - cited 8 times
  • Publication #5 - cited 7 times <-- FIVE is the h-index for this author

  • Publication #6 - cited 3 times
  • Publication #7 - cited 2 times
  • Publication #8 - cited 0 times

Even though seven of the papers have received citations from other authors, Dr. Jones' h-index can be no higher than five. In order for his h-index to get to six, one of his other papers must have been cited at least six times.

Web of Science will calculate your h-index for you but all papers you wish to include must be in the Web of Science index. Other places to find the number of times a paper has been cited are in Scopus and Google Scholar. To find your h-index, list your publications sorted by the number of times each has been cited by others. Your h-index will be the last publication that has an equal or higher number of cites than the number of publications.