Source: Web of Science, accessed September 16, 2005

Re: the h index.1 We suggest that a h-type index – equal to h if you have published h papers, each of which has at least h citations – would be a useful supplement to journal impact factors. First, it is robust and therefore insensitive to an accidental excess of uncited papers and also to one or several outstandingly highly cited papers. Second, it combines the effect of "quantity" (number of publications) and "quality" (citation rate) in a rather specific, balanced way that should reduce the apparent "overrating" of some small review journals.

The journal h-index would not be calculated for a "lifetime contribution," as suggested by Hirsch for individual scientists, but for a definite period – in the simplest case for a single year. Fortunately, the Web of Science database offers a very simple way to determine the annual h-index...

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