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This guide explains the measures used for academic papers

Author-level metrics - the h-index

The most well-known author-level metric is the h-index although there are several other variants. The h-index is a measure of both productivity and impactIt looks at the total number of papers you have published, and the number of citations these papers have received.

For example, if you've published 2 papers, and each paper has been cited 2 times, you will have a h-index of 2.

What if it's a little more complicated, where your published papers have range of both high and low citations? Let's say you've published 5 papers altogether, one cited 5 times, one 4 times, one 3 times, one 2 times, and one just the 1 time. You will have a h-index of 3. That is to say, you cannot claim higher (4 papers cited 4 times each).

Thus the h-index attempts to measure the impact of your output - you need to have published a large number of papers, which were in turn cited a large number of times, to have a high h-index.

This metric can be found using ScopusWeb of Science, or Google Scholar.

Limitations of h-index

The h-index is not appropriate for comparing across disciplines and disadvantages early career researchers.The following graphic shows a richer narrative of one academic's work than is represented by the -h-index

graphic showing why i am not my h-index or my jifs

Finding an h-index

The h-index is on the author's profile page.   


Hover over the ? for more information about the h-index and click on view to see the full graph. 

A date filter and self-citations exclusion can be applied to the graphic. 

Search Publons to find the h-index for a researcher in the Web of Science Core Collection. The h-index for this researcher is 18. 

In Google Scholar, the same author has the following information.