A new parameter for (normalized) evaluation of H-index: countries as a case study

  • Maziar Montazerian
  • Edgar Dutra Zanotto
  • Hellmut Eckert


It is known that the H-indexes of individuals, research groups, institutions, scientific journals, and countries strongly depend on the field of study, slowly increase with the number of publications, N, and can be described by empirical power-law functions of the type H = C × Na (C and a are constants and depend on the specific field being analyzed). In this paper, we use this function and propose a new index [Montazerian–Zanotto–Eckert (MZE)], which is normalized by the number of publications and typically varies from − 1 to + 1, to characterize the relative standing of a research group, institution, or author to those of his/her peer groups. Due to the rich statistics available, as an example, here we analyzed and tested the new parameter against the citation-related performance (H-index) of countries. We found that the MZE index readily distinguishes between countries that stand above or below the average (for any given number of publications). Generally, publications of countries with a positive MZE index are more interesting or visible than the average. Analyzing publication output in this manner instead of the H-index allows for a less biased comparison between researchers, journals, universities, or countries for any particular combination of H-index and publication output.


Bibliometrics Countries H-index MZE-index Citations Quality 



The authors are grateful to the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, # 2013/07793-6) - CEPID/CeRTEV - for financial support of this work and the post-doctoral fellowship granted to Maziar Montazerian (# 2015/13314-9).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Engineering (DEMa)Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)São CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Center for Research, Technology and Education in Vitreous Materials (CeRTEV)Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)São CarlosBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of Physics, São Carlos, University of São PauloSão CarlosBrazil

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