The Hirsch index is a number that synthesizes a researcher’s output. It is defined as the maximum number h such that the researcher has h papers with at least h citations each. Woeginger (Math Soc Sci 56: 224–232, 2008a; J Informetr 2: 298–303, 2008b) suggests two axiomatic characterizations of the Hirsch index using monotonicity as one of the axioms. This note suggests three characterizations without adopting the monotonicity axiom.
KeywordsHirsch index Axiomatic characterization Publications Citations Research quality
Financial support from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia under research project SEJ2007-67580-C02-01 and from the Departament d’Universitats, Recerca i Societat de la Informació (Generalitat de Catalunya) under research project 2005SGR-00949 is gratefully acknowledged. Many thanks to the two reviewers of this paper and to the Editor in Chief, Tibor Braun.