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Measuring Your Research Impact


Author metrics allow scholars to measure the influence of their scholarship. The author's impact can be determined by many factors, including how often their work is cited, in which journals their work is published and in which journals their work is cited.

Other measures of author impact include:

  • links to an author's work on websites
  • citation inclusion in books and social media
  • inclusion in an online repository

Author metrics are available in Web of Science and in Google Scholar. Remember that these measures only include the journals that are indexed in these resources.

screenshot from google scholar home page with "my citations" circled

Common Author Metrics

Citation count
The simplest of the metrics, citation count adds up the total number of citations that you have received for your scholarly output.

The h-index is a quantitative measure used to estimate a scholar's impact and influence. The h-index is determined by calculating h number of articles cited h or more times. It was proposed by J. E. Hirsch in 2005.

In the example below, the author's h-index is 5 because 5 of the author's articles have been cited at least 5 or more times.

 Article/Paper   Number of Citations            
1 135
2 73
3 4
4 51
5 3
6 17
7 25

Web of Science or Google Scholar will automatically calculate the h-index for the list of publications in your profile. To learn more about the h-index, view Understanding the h-index (Amy Suiter & Cathy Sarli - Becker Medical Library, WUSTL).

The G-index

The G-index attempts to give more weight to highly-cited papers.

G-Index is calculated this way: "[Given a set of articles] ranked in decreasing order of the number of citations that they received, the G-Index is the (unique) largest number such that the top g articles received (together) at least g^2 citations." (from Harzig's Publish or Perish Manual)  The G-index remains controversial and is not yet widely accepted. It was proposed in 2006 by Leo Egghe as an alternative to the h-index.

The i10-index

The i10-index is a Google Scholar measure that is another way to measure the productivity of the scholar. The i10-Index is calculated this way: the number of publications by an author that have been cited 10 or more times by other authors.

h-index G-index i10-index
Measures: quality and quantity of scholar's work quality and quantity of scholar's work quality of author's work
Calculation: number of articles cited h or more times  Given a set of articles ranked in decreasing order of the number of citations that they received, the G-Index is the (unique) largest number such that the top g articles received (together) at least g^2 citations counts the number of publications with at least 10 citations

limited use for early career scholars

favors authors who have published more; not as widely accepted as h-index only in Google Scholar

Search Tips For Author Metrics

A few things to keep in mind when using multiple sources:

  • Search all possible forms of the cited author's name: last name; last name, first & middle initials; last name and first initial
  • If someone is second or third author, search by the lead authors to locate the cited reference
  • Search results vary by the database used; results depend on content/coverage