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PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e59912. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059912. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

The h'-index, effectively improving the h-index based on the citation distribution.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China. ctzhang@tju.edu.cn

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although being a simple and effective index that has been widely used to evaluate academic output of scientists, the h-index suffers from drawbacks. One critical disadvantage is that only h-squared citations can be inferred from the h-index, which completely ignores excess and h-tail citations, leading to unfair and inaccurate evaluations in many cases.

METHODOLOGY PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

To solve this problem, I propose the h'-index, in which h-squared, excess and h-tail citations are all considered. Based on the citation data of the 100 most prolific economists, comparing to h-index, the h'-index shows better correlation with indices of total-citation number and citations per publication, which, although relatively reliable and widely used, do not carry the information of the citation distribution. In contrast, the h'-index possesses the ability to discriminate the shapes of citation distributions, thus leading to more accurate evaluation.

CONCLUSIONS SIGNIFICANCE:

The h'-index improves the h-index, as well as indices of total-citation number and citations per publication, by possessing the ability to discriminate shapes of citation distribution, thus making the h'-index a better single-number index for evaluating scientific output in a way that is fairer and more reasonable.

PMID:
23565174
PMCID:
PMC3614896
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0059912
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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