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 h papers that have been cited at least h 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.