Scholarly Impact Metrics

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Common measures of author impact

Citation count:

The simplest of the metrics, citation count adds up the total number of citations that you have received for your scholarly output. Citation count can be expressed on a article or researcher basis.


h-index is a measure of author ranking that is calculated by taking "the highest number of papers a scientist has that have each received at least that number of citations" (Ball, 2005). For example, an h-index number of 10 means that the author has 10 papers that have been cited 10 times each. It is used primarily in the sciences.

An author's h-index can be accessed from the Web of Science database, or from Google Scholar .

  • Web of Science
    1. Search for an author.
    2. From the results page, select the "Create Citation Report" option.
  • Google Scholar (this method requires that you have set up a personal profile in Google Scholar.)
    1. From the Google Scholar homepage, select the "My Citations" option.
    2. Your h-index is listed on the right side of the screen.
Source: Ball, P. (2005). Index aims at fair ranking of scientists. Science 436(7053) p. 900.

Other metrics you might encounter...


g-index attempts to improve on the h-index by adjusting for highly cited papers. An author's g-index is calculated by ranking a set of articles in decreasing order by the number of citations received. "The g-index is the (unique) largest number such that the top g articles received (together) at least g² citations" (Harzing, 2016). Basically, the g-index uses the cumulative sum of citations in calculating the metric (g² < the cumulative sum of citations).

Source: Harzing, A. (2016). Publish or Perish 4 User's Manual: g-index. Retrieved October 3, 2016 from

i-10 index:

Used only in Google Scholar, this metric is a measure of how many papers a given author has published that have received at least 10 citations.

Source: Eldermire, E. (2016, July 7). LibGuides: Measuring your research impact: i10-Index. Retrieved October 3, 2016, from