new citation index: the h-bar value

October 9, 2008 at 6:43 pm | | literature, science community

I commented a while ago about the Hirsch h index. In fact, it was one of my first posts 2.5 years ago. Since then, the h index has become the standard in reporting the extent of an author citations. ISI and ResearcherID report h index along with total citations, and scientists have started to include their h value on their CVs and resumés.

But there’s still the problem of self-citation: citing ones own papers in later papers or reviews can increase ones own h index.

PI h
Pande 28 4.5
Moerner 43 6.8
Andersen 48 7.6
Fayer 51 8.1
Boxer 52 8.3
Zare 94 15.0

I now introduce a modification of the Hirsch h index to solve the self-citation problem. The “h-bar index.” The math is very simple: because each researcher cites himself or herself multiple times in each paper, total citations must be divided by a normalizing constant to account for these self-citations. Therefore an author’s  index is his or her h index divided by 2π.

The table above compares the Hirsch h index and the Lord  index of the same scientists I listed in my original post. I argue that the Lord  index is a more accurate measure of an individual’s true citation record.


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  1. NERD!!! :D

    Comment by psi*psi — October 9, 2008 #

  2. You made brain hurts!

    Comment by Mitch — October 9, 2008 #

  3. I see what you did there.

    Comment by excimer — October 10, 2008 #

  4. I don’t get it. If you divide everyone’s h value by the same constant, there is no change in ranking. It’s an irrelevant modification to h value then, because Zare is still higher than everyone, just by a slightly smaller margin.

    Or is this just a joke?

    Comment by charles — October 10, 2008 #

  5. yes, that’s why it’s funny.

    Comment by sam — October 11, 2008 #

  6. …almost got me…

    Comment by ZAL — October 12, 2008 #

  7. […] Check out my new measure, the h-bar index. | 5 Comments […]

    Pingback by Everyday Scientist » h value — September 14, 2009 #

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