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Bibliometrics and Altmetrics

This guide was created to help UNLV researchers navigate bibliometrics and altmetrics when trying to evaluate journals for publication or indicate their scholarship's impact.

Author Level Metrics

Author level metrics are used to calculate an individual author's impact using citations, publication counts, and more. The two most commonly used author level metrics are h-Index and g-Index, though others exist. 

H-Index. A primary author level metric designed to measure research quality over time. The h-Index is a statistic designed to account both the scholarly productivity and the research impact of the author. The h-Index is calculated as follows - H stands for the number of articles that have each been cited H number of times. So, an h-Index of 30 means that the author has published 30 articles that have each been cited 30+ times.

The h-Index, as a performance indicator, is attributed with having advantages and disadvantages.The advantages include: it is a simple composite indicator, which can be applied to the research performance of individual scholars; It combines citation impact with publication activity measures; and it directly correlates with other indicators of significance.

The disadvantages include: it puts new scholars at a disadvantage since publication output and observed citation rates require long term observations and remain relatively low for newly minted scholars; not useful for assessing different fields or discipline nor for the assessment of individual departments. 

G-Index. The g-Index was created because scholars noticed that h-Index ignores the number of citations to each individual article beyond what is needed to achieve a certain h-index. It should be thought of as a continuation, or a complementary, metric to the h-Index and puts more weight on highly cited articles.

It is calculated, given a set of articles, ranked in decreasing order of the number of citations that they received, the g-Index is the unique largest number such that the top g articles received together at least g2  citations.


American University Library

University of Illinois Library

Top Resources for Author Metrics

Top Resources for Metrics. For additional instructions on locating your h-Index using the below databases, visit the Find Your H-Index page of this guide.

Web of Science. To find an author’s h-Index: First perform an Author search in Web of Science. You will generate a list of titles published by the author. To locate the author's h-Index, go to upper right hand corner of records retrieved. Find the Create Citation Report and click on it. This will take you to the Citation Report. The second box to the left is the h-Index for the individual author. 

Scopus. Author search generally the best method to pull up citations. Search by Last Name, First Initial, and institution. Choose the appropriate author listed then click on Citation Overview, where the h-Index is listed in a box to the right. 

Google Scholar. It calculates the H-Index and its variant, the i10-Index for Authors. I10-Index is the number of articles with at least 10 citations.

Additional resources for Author Level Metrics

Metrics Toolkit. Helps you Navigate the Research Metrics Landscape. It is a web resource for researchers and evaluators by providing guidance for demonstrating and evaluating research impact. It includes a section on the h-Index

Publish or Perish. A software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations, pulled from a variety of sources. It's calculations available include the h-index and the g-index. 

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