Bibliometric scoring of an individual’s research output in science and engineering

Khanna, Vinod Kumar


The relevance of various citation metrics used for parameterization of the research outputs of scientists is reviewed. The rationale of judging the performance of scientists on the basis of the total number of research papers published, the total citations received for these papers or the average citation reckoning per paper has often been criticized. The significance of impact factor of journals in which the papers have appeared has also been debated. The h-index introduced by Jorge E. Hirsch in 2005 has gained some acceptance in this regard but its value is highly dependent on the academic discipline concerned and also varies across sub-disciplines. Because citation practices exhibit wide variations among different fields, a scientist working in a particular discipline need not be disheartened with a low h-index as compared to fellow scientists of a different discipline. The h-index has been successful in assessing the performance of scientists of the same field and at the same stage of their careers. By appropriately scaling the discipline-dependence of h-index, it has also enabled comparison among those working in different disciplines, serving as a simplified, robust, intelligible measure. Several metrics proposed to overcome the flaws of h-index are briefly described.


Bibliometrics;h-index;Hirsch index;Impact Factor;Citation indices

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