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Measuring Your Impact: Find Your H-Index

Overview of h-index, Eigenfactor, Impact Factor (IF), Journal Citation Reports, Citation Analysis, and other tools.

About the H-Index

The h-index, or Hirsch index, measures the impact of a particular scientist rather than a journal. The index is based on the set of the researcher's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other people's publication. For example, a scholar with an h-index of 5 had published 5 papers, each of which has been cited by others at least 5 times. Washington University Bernard Becker Medical Library has a very helpful video on the h-index.

Strengths and Shortcomings of the H-Index

Strengths of the h-index

  • The h-index is a metric for evaluating the cumulative impact of an author's scholary output and performance. It compares publications to citations thereby combining quantity with quality 
  • The h-index corrects for disproportionate weight of highly cited publications in few works as well as publications that have not been cited
  • Web of Science and Scopus automatically calculate the h-index as part of citation reports for authors

Shortcomings of the h-index

  • The h-index is meant to span the entire body of scholarly output by an author; NOT intended to be used to highlight a specific timeframe
  • Self citations or gratuitous ciations can skew the h-index 
  • Author name variants and misspellings on articles can pose challenges establishing an accurate h-index. Use ORCID to avoid this increasingly common problem
  • The h-index is not a universal metric and is difficult to use to compare authors of different seniority and disciplines. Young researchers are at a disadvantage to senior researchers who have had more time to publish. Certain disciplins vary in their average number publications, references, and citations

For more information, see Balaban, AT. 2012. Positive and negative aspects of citation indices and journal impact factors. Scientometrics. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-102-0637-5

More Information

If you have more questions about metrics and assessment contact:

Charlotte Bhasin or Mario Scarcipino

If you have questions about databases or where to publish contact:

Michelle Kraft or Matt Weaver

Where To Publish

The library recommends using these aids to determine the best place to publish your research.

Find Your H-Index

​Below are instructions for obtaining your h-index from Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar. 
Note: the h-index can be different across different databases due to the years covered and the journals in the database. 

Web of Science
**Beware of common name authors, seek assistance from library if you have questions

  1. Enter the name of the author in the search box (e.g. Mihaljevic T).
  2. Select Author from drop down menu on right
  3. ​To help with accuracy, click Add Another Field and type Cleveland Clinic Foundation (this must be typed exactly as Cleveland Clinic Foundation) 
  4. Select Organization-Enhanced 
  5. Click Search
  6. ​Click on Create Citation Report on the right corner of the results page

**Beware of common name authors, seek assistance from library if you have questions

  1. ​Click the word Authors
  2. Type the author's name into the appropriate search boxes
  3. ​Type Cleveland Clinic in the the Affiliation box
  4. ​Click Search
  5. ​Click on the author name, the h index will be displayed on the right side

Google Scholar

  1. First using your Gmail account, create a profile
  2. Below your profile picture on the left, click the + sign next to the word Title
  3. Select Add Articles or Add Articles Manually. If you select Add Articles click the box next to your citations. If you select Add Articles Manually then enter the article information into each field
  4. Check the blue check mark at the top of the page when you are finished
  5. Your h index will be on the right hand side