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

Locate the Web of Science link on the Library website. If you are accessing the application remotely remember to use the remote access link also located on the Library website.

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)
  • 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.