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Savvy Researcher: Create and Manage Your Online Scholarly Presence: Author Metrics
Widely used as a surrogate measure of the impact of an author, h-index is controversial and, although it has a very simple formula, it is difficult to calculate it with high accuracy. The difficulty comes from the combination of databases limitations in content, citations accuracy, topic interdisciplinarity, and authors' name ambiguity.
h-index is readily available in Web of Science database. However, for scholars studying interdisciplinary subjects, or for those that do not have access to Web of Science database, Google Scholar may offer an acceptable substitute, although not without many caveats.
Additionally, metrics of the social media reach of publications or the peer-review activity could also contribute to creating a more comprehensive image of a scholar's academic impact.
Keep track of social media activity surrounding your papers.
Plum Analytics tracks more than 20 different types of artifacts, including journal articles, books, videos, presentations, conference proceedings, datasets, source code, cases, and more. Metrics are captured and correlated at the group / collection level (e.g., lab, department, museum, journal, etc.).
Available through institutional subscription.
It was proposed in 2005 by Jorge Hirsch, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego. PNAS November 15, 2005 102 (46) 16569-16572;
How is h-index calculated?
Start by organizing articles in descending order, based on the number of times they have been cited, then determine which h papers have at least h citations.
It combines quantity (publications) and impact (citations) into one measure
Allows for direct comparisons within disciplines
Allows for objectivity in characterizing the scientific output of a researcher with objectivity
It is better suited to evaluate the scientific output of a researcher than other performs better than commonly used criteria
Early career researchers are disadvantaged
Citation numbers of highly cited papers are not taken in consideration
It is affected by limitations such as incomplete list of scholarly publications and their citation numbers, author disambiguation, etc.
Where to find h-index?
H-index is readily available within some databases or using specific tools, such as Web of Science, Google Scholar, or Publish or Perish software. The numbers will vary between different sources; however, there is no perfect source.