The h-index was developed in 2005 to qualify the impact and quantity of individual scientist's research output. The h-index serves as an alternative to more traditional journal impact factor metrics.
The measure is simple: a scientist with an h-index of, say, 20 has published 20 articles that have each attracted at least 20 citations. This means that the rest of the author's papers have less than 20 citations. The index works properly only for comparing researchers working in the same field as citation conventions differ widely among different fields.
The h-index can be manually determined using an Internet database such as Google Scholar. Google Scholar Citations and licensed resources such as Scopus and the Web of Science provide automated calculators. Note that each database is likely to produce a different h for the same scholar, because of the different coverage in each database.
Citation databases tell us how often a published work has been cited within that database's journals.
Major citation databases are listed below.
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