, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 491-502

First online:

Comparison of the Hirsch-index with standard bibliometric indicators and with peer judgment for 147 chemistry research groups

  • Anthony F. J. van RaanAffiliated withCenter for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University Email author 

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In this paper we present characteristics of the statistical correlation between the Hirsch (h-) index and several standard bibliometric indicators, as well as with the results of peer review judgment. We use the results of a large evaluation study of 147 university chemistry research groups in the Netherlands covering the work of about 700 senior researchers during the period 1991–2000. Thus, we deal with research groups rather than individual scientists, as we consider the research group as the most important work floor unit in research, particularly in the natural sciences. Furthermore, we restrict the citation period to a three-year window instead of ‘life time counts’ in order to focus on the impact of recent work and thus on current research performance. Results show that the h-index and our bibliometric ‘crown indicator’ both relate in a quite comparable way with peer judgments. But for smaller groups in fields with ‘less heavy citation traffic’ the crown indicator appears to be a more appropriate measure of research performance.