, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 487–509 | Cite as

How to evaluate individual researchers working in the natural and life sciences meaningfully? A proposal of methods based on percentiles of citations



Although bibliometrics has been a separate research field for many years, there is still no uniformity in the way bibliometric analyses are applied to individual researchers. Therefore, this study aims to set up proposals how to evaluate individual researchers working in the natural and life sciences. 2005 saw the introduction of the h index, which gives information about a researcher’s productivity and the impact of his or her publications in a single number (h is the number of publications with at least h citations); however, it is not possible to cover the multidimensional complexity of research performance and to undertake inter-personal comparisons with this number. This study therefore includes recommendations for a set of indicators to be used for evaluating researchers. Our proposals relate to the selection of data on which an evaluation is based, the analysis of the data and the presentation of the results.


Bibliometrics Publications Productivity Citations Percentiles Researchers 


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division for Science and Innovation StudiesAdministrative Headquarters of the Max Planck SocietyMunichGermany
  2. 2.Information Retrieval Services (IVS-CPT)Max Planck Institute for Solid State ResearchStuttgartGermany

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