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Shimberg Health Sciences Library & Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange

Promotion and Tenure Resources


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

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.