, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 621–641 | Cite as

The success-index: an alternative approach to the h-index for evaluating an individual’s research output

  • Fiorenzo FranceschiniEmail author
  • Maurizio Galetto
  • Domenico Maisano
  • Luca Mastrogiacomo


Among the most recent bibliometric indicators for normalizing the differences among fields of science in terms of citation behaviour, Kosmulski (J Informetr 5(3):481–485, 2011) proposed the NSP (number of successful paper) index. According to the authors, NSP deserves much attention for its great simplicity and immediate meaning—equivalent to those of the h-index—while it has the disadvantage of being prone to manipulation and not very efficient in terms of statistical significance. In the first part of the paper, we introduce the success-index, aimed at reducing the NSP-index’s limitations, although requiring more computing effort. Next, we present a detailed analysis of the success-index from the point of view of its operational properties and a comparison with the h-index’s ones. Particularly interesting is the examination of the success-index scale of measurement, which is much richer than the h-index’s. This makes success-index much more versatile for different types of analysis—e.g., (cross-field) comparisons of the scientific output of (1) individual researchers, (2) researchers with different seniority, (3) research institutions of different size, (4) scientific journals, etc.


Successful paper NSP-index Field normalization Reference practices Operational properties Hirsch index 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiorenzo Franceschini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maurizio Galetto
    • 1
  • Domenico Maisano
    • 1
  • Luca Mastrogiacomo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Production Systems and Business Economics (DISPEA)Politecnico di TorinoTorinoItaly

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