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Posts Tagged ‘calculating’

Finding an author’s h-index – a step by step guide

Posted by gazjjohnson on 6 February, 2009

The h-index (Hirsch Number) is a metric that is increasingly becoming of interest to researchers, especially in the light of the REF.  An h-index is “a number that quantifies both the actual scientific productivity and the apparent scientific impact of a scientist“.  You can work it out manually, but to be honest you’d need to be mad or a bibliometrics fiend to want to.

I’ve been asked by a few people how to find it, and each time I totally forget how!  So in the light of this, here’s my step by step guide to discovering an author’s h-index automatically using that wonderful Web of Knowledge tool!

  1. Go to Web of Knowledge  and click on the big green button
  2. Click the Web of Science tab at the top of the screen
  3. Rnter the author’s name in the format surname initial* (e.g. raven e*)
  4. Change the search option from the drop down menu to Author
  5. Click Search
  6. At the top right of the results is the option to Create Citation Report. Click this.
  7. The analysis appears, along with the person’s relative h-index.

It seems simple, but I was scratching my head using WoK until I discovered that I need to just use Web of Science, not the whole WoK in order to get the value.  And so, now you know!  It is worth noting you do have to be fairly exact in your author naming conventions, as the citation report will not run for more than 10, 000 result records.

I did wonder if between steps 6 and 7 about selecting individual papers from the list of results, but it appears that this has no effect on the citation analysis; for example selecting 5 papers from a list of 120, 000 doesn’t enable me to run the citation reports – it appears to run in an all or nothing manner.  Or maybe there’s a trick here I’m missing?

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