, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 59–74 | Cite as

Empirical series of journal h-indices: The JCR category Horticulture as a case study

  • Yuxian Liu
  • I. K. Ravichandra Rao
  • Ronald Rousseau


Two types of series of h-indices for journals published in the field of Horticulture during the period 1998–2007 are calculated. Type I h-indices are based on yearly data, while type II h-indices use cumulative data. These h-indices are also considered in a form normalised with respect to the number of published articles.

It is observed that type I h-indices, normalised or not, decrease linearly over a period of ten years. The type II series, however, is not linear in nature: it exhibits partly a concave shape. This proves that the journals (in Horticulture) do not exhibit a linear increase in h-index as argued by Hirsch in the case of life-time achievements of scientists.

In the second part of the paper, an attempt is made to study the relative visibility of a journal and its change over time, based on h-indices of journals. It is shown that:
  • the h-index over the complete period 1998–2007 of the journal Theoretical & Applied Genetics (h = 62) is much higher than that of all other journals in the field

  • the relation between the number of publications and the type II h-index for the whole period is not an exact power law (as it would have to be if the Egghe-Rousseau model were applicable)

  • in order to study the dynamic aspects of journal visibility, a field-relative normalised h-ratio is defined to monitor systematic changes in the field of Horticulture. Except for two journals, the Pearson correlation coefficient for yearly values of this field-relative normalised h-ratio indicates that there is no systematic change of the performance of the journals with respect to the field as a whole.


Apply Genetic Hirsch Index Relative Visibility Lifetime Achievement Journal Visibility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Banks, M. G. (2006), An extension of the Hirsch index: indexing scientific topics and compounds. Scientometrics, 69: 161–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Braun, T., Glänzel, W., Schubert, A. (2006), A Hirsch-type index for journals. Scientometrics, 69: 169–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burrell, Q. L. (2007a). Hirsch’s h-index: a stochastic model. Journal of Informetrics, 1: 16–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burrell, Q. L. (2007b). Hirsch’s h-index and Egghe’s g-index. In: D. Torres-Salinas, H. F. Moed (Eds), Proceedings of ISSI 2007, Madrid, CSIC, pp. 162–169.Google Scholar
  5. Burrell, Q. L. (2007c). Hirsch index or Hirsch rate? Some thoughts arising from Liang’s data. Scientometrics, 73: 19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Egghe, L. (2007), Dynamic h-index: the Hirsch index in function of time. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58: 452–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Egghe, L., Rousseau, R. (1990). Introduction to Informetrics. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  8. Egghe, L., Rousseau, R. (2006). An informetric model for the h-index. Scientometrics, 69: 121–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hirsch, J. E. (2005), An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102: 16569–16572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jin, B. H., Liang, L. M., Rousseau, R., Egghe, L. (2007), The R- and AR-indices: complementing the hindex. Chinese Science Bulletin, 52: 855–863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kelly, C. D., Jennions M. D. (2006), The h index and career assessment by numbers. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 21167–21170.Google Scholar
  12. Liang, L. M. (2006), H-index sequence and h-index matrix: constructions and applications. Scientometrics, 69: 153–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liu, Y. X., Rousseau, R. (2007), Hirsch-type indices and library management: the case of Tongji University Library. In: D. Torres-Salinas, H. F. Moed (Eds) Proceedings of ISSI 2007, Madrid, CSIC, pp. 514–522.Google Scholar
  14. Liu, Y. X., Rousseau, R. (2008), Definitions of time series in citation analysis with special attention to the h-index. Journal of Informetrics, 2: 202–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rao, I. K. R. (2007), Distributions of Hirsch-index and g-index: an empirical study, In: D. Torres-Salinas, H. F. Moed (Eds) Proceedings of ISSI 2007, Madrid, CSIC, pp. 655–658.Google Scholar
  16. Rousseau, R. (2006), A case study: evolution of JASIS’ h-index. Science Focus, 1(1): 16–17 (in Chinese). English version available at: E-LIS: ID-code 5430.Google Scholar
  17. The Stimulate-6 Group (2007), The Hirsch index applied to topics of interest to developing countries. First Monday, 12(2).

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuxian Liu
    • 1
  • I. K. Ravichandra Rao
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ronald Rousseau
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Catalogue SectionLibrary of Tongji UniversityShanghaiP.R. China
  2. 2.Indian Statistical Institute (ISI)P.O. BangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Universiteit HasseltDiepenbeekBelgium
  4. 4.KHBO (Association K.U.Leuven)Industrial Sciences and TechnologyOostendeBelgium

Personalised recommendations