TY - JOUR

T1 - Completing h

AU - Dienes, Keith R.

N1 - Funding Information:
The normal research activities of the author are funded in part under grant DE-FG02-13ER-41976 from the U.S. Department of Energy . The opinions and conclusions expressed herein do not represent those of any funding agency. Useful comments and encouragement from S. Redner, M. Sher, S. Su, B. Thomas, L. Waltman, and J. Wells are also herewith gratefully acknowledged.

PY - 2015/4/1

Y1 - 2015/4/1

N2 - Nearly a decade ago, the science community was introduced to the h-index, a proposed statistical measure of the collective impact of the publications of any individual researcher. Of course, any method of reducing a complex data set to a single number will necessarily have certain limitations and introduce certain biases. However, in this paper we point out that the definition of the h-index actually suffers from something far deeper: a hidden mathematical incompleteness intrinsic to its definition. In particular, we point out that one critical step within the definition of h has been missed until now, resulting in an index which only achieves its stated objectives under certain rather limited circumstances. For example, this incompleteness explains why the h-index ultimately has more utility in certain scientific subfields than others. In this paper, we expose the origin of this incompleteness and then also propose a method of completing the definition of h in a way which remains close to its original guiding principle. As a result, our "completed" h not only reduces to the usual h in cases where the h-index already achieves its objectives, but also extends the validity of the h-index into situations where it currently does not.

AB - Nearly a decade ago, the science community was introduced to the h-index, a proposed statistical measure of the collective impact of the publications of any individual researcher. Of course, any method of reducing a complex data set to a single number will necessarily have certain limitations and introduce certain biases. However, in this paper we point out that the definition of the h-index actually suffers from something far deeper: a hidden mathematical incompleteness intrinsic to its definition. In particular, we point out that one critical step within the definition of h has been missed until now, resulting in an index which only achieves its stated objectives under certain rather limited circumstances. For example, this incompleteness explains why the h-index ultimately has more utility in certain scientific subfields than others. In this paper, we expose the origin of this incompleteness and then also propose a method of completing the definition of h in a way which remains close to its original guiding principle. As a result, our "completed" h not only reduces to the usual h in cases where the h-index already achieves its objectives, but also extends the validity of the h-index into situations where it currently does not.

KW - Citations

KW - H-Index

KW - Publications

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84925490972&partnerID=8YFLogxK

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U2 - 10.1016/j.joi.2015.01.003

DO - 10.1016/j.joi.2015.01.003

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84925490972

VL - 9

SP - 385

EP - 397

JO - Journal of Informetrics

JF - Journal of Informetrics

SN - 1751-1577

IS - 2

ER -