R package for producing beamplots as a preferred alternative to the h index when assessing single researchers (based on downloads from Web of Science)

  • Robin HaunschildEmail author
  • Lutz Bornmann
  • Jonathan Adams


We propose the use of beamplots—which can be produced by using the R package BibPlots and WoS downloads—as a preferred alternative to h index values for assessing single researchers.


Bibliometrics h index BibPlots Citations Impact 


  1. Adams, J., McVeigh, M., Pendlebury, D., & Szomszor, M. (2019). Profiles, not metrics. Philadelphia, PA: Clarivate Analytics.Google Scholar
  2. Bornmann, L., & Haunschild, R. (2018). Plots for visualizing paper impact and journal impact of single researchers in a single graph. Scientometrics, 115(1), 385–394. Scholar
  3. Bornmann, L., & Marx, W. (2014a). Distributions instead of single numbers: Percentiles and beam plots for the assessment of single researchers. Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, 65(1), 206–208.Google Scholar
  4. Bornmann, L., & Marx, W. (2014b). How to evaluate individual researchers working in the natural and life sciences meaningfully? A proposal of methods based on percentiles of citations. Scientometrics, 98(1), 487–509. Scholar
  5. Hirsch, J. E. (2005). An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(46), 16569–16572. Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Solid State ResearchStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Division for Science and Innovation StudiesAdministrative Headquarters of the Max Planck SocietyMunichGermany
  3. 3.ISI Clarivate AnalyticsLondonUK
  4. 4.The Policy Institute at King’sKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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