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Research Impact Assessment (Health Sciences)

Explore methods and tools for assessing your research impact, including citation tracking and altmetrics.

What is the h-index?

Use of the h-index is controversial. Some organizations use the h-index for evaluating researchers while others do not use it. As information professionals, we do not advise using the h-index without fully understanding its limitations and caveats.

Use the h-index with extreme caution.


Image of a graph showing the number of publications each year by an author, and listing the author's h-index for different platforms that calculate it.The h-index is a measure of publishing impact, where an author's h-index is represented by the number of papers (h) with a citation number ≥ h. For example, a scientist with an h-index of 14 has published numerous papers, 14 of which have been cited at least 14 times.

Image: Screenshot of some metrics listed in an author profile in Michigan Experts. Includes the h-index from 4 different sources: Scopus, Dimensions, Web of Science, and Europe PMC.

  • This indicator typically varies by source (e.g., different values in Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science).
  • It is not field-normalized and is not an accurate comparison of productivity across disciplines.
  • It is weighted positively towards mid and late-career researchers as publications have had more time to accrue citations.

There are several variations of the h-index, including:

Where can I find my h-index?

The resources below contain author profiles which list an h-index. Remember, this metric typically varies by source, so an author's h-index in Scopus may be different than the one in Google Scholar.