Summary
The h-index is an author-level metric that measures both the productivity and citation impact of the publications, initially used for an individual scientist or scholar. The h-index correlates with success indicators such as winning the Nobel Prize, being accepted for research fellowships and holding positions at top universities. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other publications. The index has more recently been applied to the productivity and impact of a scholarly journal as well as a group of scientists, such as a department or university or country. The index was suggested in 2005 by Jorge E. Hirsch, a physicist at UC San Diego, as a tool for determining theoretical physicists' relative quality and is sometimes called the Hirsch index or Hirsch number. The h-index is defined as the maximum value of h such that the given author/journal has published at least h papers that have each been cited at least h times. The index is designed to improve upon simpler measures such as the total number of citations or publications. The index works best when comparing scholars working in the same field, since citation conventions differ widely among different fields. The h-index is the largest number h such that h articles have at least h citations each. For example, if an author has five publications, with 9, 7, 6, 2, and 1 citations (ordered from greatest to least), then the author's h-index is 3, because the author has three publications with 3 or more citations. However, the author does not have four publications with 4 or more citations. Clearly, an author's h-index can only be as great as their number of publications. For example, an author with only one publication can have a maximum h-index of 1 (if their publication has 1 or more citations). On the other hand, an author with many publications, each with only 1 citation, would also have an h-index of 1.
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