Finding Your H-index (Hirsch Index) in Web of Science
What is the H-index?
"An index that quantifies both the actual scientific productivity and the apparent scientific impact of a scientist." (The h-index was suggested by Jorge E. Hirsch, physicist at San Diego State University in 2005. The h-index is sometimes referred to as the Hirsch index or Hirsch number.)
- e.g., an h-index of 25 means the researcher has 25 papers, each of which has been cited 25+ times.
STEP 1: Access Web of Science
STEP 2: Searching for Your Articles
Enter your name, surname and initials, in the second search box (set to “author”) and click search.
- eg. Smith, ja
If you have published under different names/initials you will need to incorporate this into your search criteria by using truncation (eg smith, j*) or using the "Author Search" option located directly under the search box.
Once you are satisfied with the search criteria, it is suggested that you make a note of the search criteria displayed on the results screen. This will save you time if you should need to repeat the process.
- eg. Author = (smith,ja)
- Refined by: Web of Science Categories = (CHEMISTRY PHYSICAL OR GEOGRAPHY PHYSICAL OR PHYSICS APPLIED)
- Timespan = All years. Databases = SCI-EXPANDED, SSCI.
STEP 3: Creating and Using the Citation Report
On the left side of the results page is the “Create Citation Report” indicator which will display the h-index and Average Citations per item/year and other statistics. You have the option to re-fine the listing by selecting the checkboxes to remove individual items that are not yours from the Citation Report or restrict publication years.
You can see how the h-index has changed over time by revising the dates in the gray box directly above the first listed article.
Issues to be Aware of:
- Web of Science counts the number of papers published, therefore favors authors who publish more and are more advanced into their careers.
- When comparing impact factors you need to compare similar authors in the same discipline, using the same database, using the same method.
- Be sure to indicate limitations.
- In general you can only compare values within a single discipline. Different citation patterns will mean, for example, an average medical researcher will generally have much larger h-index value than a world-class mathematician.
- The h-index may be less useful in some disciplines, particularly some areas of the humanities.
For further assistance in this process, please Ask a Librarian or call 303-497-8559.