The h-index, or Hirsch index, named after Jorge E. Hirsch, is one of the few author-based metrics currently available that offers a perspective of the productivity and citation impact of a scientist, researcher, or academic. There are four tools most commonly used to calculate the h-index, all of which depend on separate databases: Scopus, Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate.
Using the h-index of the authors of this paper derived from these four sources, it is abundantly clear that scores vary widely and that it is unclear which of these sources is a reliable or accurate source of information, for any purpose. As the use and application of author-based metrics increases, including for official academic purposes, it is becoming increasingly important to know which source of the h-index is most accurate, and thus valid. Although this is not a review of the h-index, some perspectives are provided of the h-index-related literature to place this case study within a wider context of the weaknesses and criticisms of using the h-index as a metric to evaluate scientific outcome.
Accuracy Author-based metrics Creditability Databases Google Scholar Scopus Web of Science
Scientist, researcher, or academic
Web of Science
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Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.
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