h-index Data Sources
The data sources you use to calculate your h index are important. See One h-Index to Rule Them All? Using h-Index Realities to Educate Researchers about their Online Presence, by Janet Fransen, University of Minnesota, poster presented at the 2012 ALA National Conference.
Who Cites My Article?
These databases provide a count of the number of times an article has been cited. This count is based on the journals indexed by the database.
There are a number of books, blogs, and websites that can teach you more about bibliometrics. Here are a few of our favorites.
- NIH Bibliometrics Training Series
- 30-Day Impact Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Raising the Profile of Your Research
- Metrics Toolkit
- Leiden Madtrics
The h-index was developed in 2005 by Jorge Hirsch, a physicist at the University of California in San Diego. In his paper Hirsch states "A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np − h) papers have no more than h citations each."
There have always been concerns about the validity and usefulness of the h index. CWTS provides a great infographic. For other evaluation options, please see the list in the Caveat Emptor box.
- de Rijcke, S., Waltman, L, and van Leeuwen, T. (2021). Halt the h-index. Leiden Madtrics. https://leidenmadtrics.nl/articles/halt-the-h-index.
- Haustein, S. (2020). Learning and teaching to not use the h-index. ACRL STS Hot Topic Webinar, 15.06.2020. https://zenodo.org/record/3895045#.XyAy0GhKjIV
- Waltman, L. and van Eck, N.J. (2012), The inconsistency of the h‐index. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 63: 406-415. doi:10.1002/asi.21678
Databases with h-index
You can calculate the h-index yourself, or let one of these databases do it for you. Remember that they only gather information from the journals they index.
- ScopusUse the Author Search tab to conduct an author search then select the correct author. An author profile opens with detailed research information, including his/her h- index number along with the h-Graph. Scopus only includes articles published after 1995 when calculating the h-index.
- Web of ScienceYou can do an author search or use the Author Finder. If your name is common you will need to do a lot of refining using topics, institutions, and years. When you have a good list of articles, use Create Citation Report to see the h-index.
- Google ScholarGoogle Scholar provides an h-index for an author only if the author has created a user profile for themselves. GS also calculates the h-index and i10 index, listing the articles used to arrive at those numbers. i10 is the number of articles receiving at least 10 citations from other authors.
- Microsoft Academic SearchSearch for the author's name. You may be offered a choice between people with the same name, but working at different institutions. You are provided an h-index and the articles used to arrive at that number.
Properly identifying authors and their papers is difficult for obvious reasons. How many articles are authored by J. Smith, Y. Lee, or L. Jackson? The groups below are working to solve this problem.
- ORCID at JHULink your ORCID identity to JHU as your workplace or place of education.
Citation Search Tips
Each citation source produces slightly different results depending on the content and coverage of the source. This underscores the importance of using multiple citation sources to judge the true impact of an author's work. The search strategy should be broad and inclusive enough to accomodate the following pitfalls.
- Search results vary by database used.
- Search all permutations of the cited author's name: last name; last name, first and middle initials; last name and first initial.
- If someone is second or third author, search by the lead authors to locate the cited reference.
- Author names and titles in foreign languages and non-Roman script may require extra effort to determine their transcription or transliteraton in each database.