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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 873-874

“Know your worth!” – Author ranking indices

1 Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery and Ocular Oncology, Centre for Sight, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Editor, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, Centre for Sight, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Santosh G Honavar
Editor, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, Centre for Sight, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2165_22

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How to cite this article:
Bansal R, Honavar SG. “Know your worth!” – Author ranking indices. Indian J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2022;2:873-4

How to cite this URL:
Bansal R, Honavar SG. “Know your worth!” – Author ranking indices. Indian J Ophthalmol Case Rep [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 5];2:873-4. Available from: https://www.ijoreports.in/text.asp?2022/2/4/873/358162

“Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.” – Peter Drucker

Over the years, research has come in power and it wears the crown as far as career progress is concerned. Scientific knowledge gets enriched by addition of genuine and authentic research. It is not only important for authors from the scientific community to publish articles of supreme importance, but also citable relevant articles. Considering the exponential growth in the research aspect, various indices that have been proposed for the assessment of authors. It is important for researchers to be aware of the indices available to be able to rise in their clinical and academic environment. These indices could be quantitative or qualitative which help in assessing research credibility, reviewer organization, mentor hunt, employment basis, promotion guide, award nominations and scholarship grants.[1],[2],[3] The Leiden manifesto[4] emphasizes on the importance of qualitative assessment with additional contribution of quantitative indicators in assessing the researcher's performance.[5]

Starting from basic publication count to complicated formals for assessment, the world of indices is a web for growth. In 1969, Pritchard termed the process as “bibliometrics” and in 1971, Nalimov and Mulchenko introduced the term “scientometrics”.[6] The concept has not only evolved, but has also become more complicated to understand. A good understanding of the indices may provide a guiding track to the authors for career progress. Here are a few indices that must be known to the scientists eager to contribute:

  1. h-index: Introduced by Jorge Hirsch (a physicist from University of California, San Diego), in 2005, this easily computable index combines the citation count and number of publications. It has been defined as the number of papers with citation number ≥ h.2 The index is considered as “h if h of an author's Np papers have at least h citations each and the other (Np - h) papers have ≤ h citations each”. It is proposed that when a schematic curve is drawn between the number of citations and number of papers written by an author (in order of decreasing citations), the area under the curve denotes the total number of citations and the intersection of a linear 45° line at the curve gives the value h. As per the ideal progress of an author, h-value should increase linearly with time.[2] This index gives an estimate of impact, significance and importance of an author in the research world. However, Hirsch also stated that even though a high h-value denotes higher accomplishments, vice-versa is not true.[7] It gives equal importance to all the publications, recent or old of the authors and is directly proportional to the career duration of the author. This index supports scientists with above average impact and doesn't change with addition of low cited articles. The presence of scientists by similar names on search engines has seen to affect the h-index. This index does not differentiate between the old and the new publications and the senior is always ranked higher than the junior researcher.[3],[8] Considering the various deficiencies of the h-index, various modifications have been suggested as described in [Table 1].
  2. g-index: Leo Egghe in 2006, introduced the g-index by taking into consideration the highly cited articles.[17] It is calculated by arranging all the articles in decreasing order of the number of citations received such that the first g articles have at least g2 citations. It is defined as the highest number g of papers that together received g2 or more citations. As per the observations, gh, and the g-index shall always be higher than the h-index. It caters to the “visibility” of the researcher.
  3. e-index: In 2009, Zhang proposed the e-index for evaluating highly cited scientists.[14] It is independent of h-index and therefore complements h-index by differentiating scientists with similar h-indices but different citation patterns. In the e -index, e2 denotes the ignored excess citations (surplus of citations h2) i.e. beyond the theoretical minimum required to obtain h-index of ' h'.
  4. ħ-index: Hirsch himself introduced the ħ “hbar” index in 2010, taking multiple authorship in account. Scientists working in groups deserve to get due credit for their contributions. In ħ-index, ħ denotes a researcher's own ħ core articles and it may fluctuate with the contributions of the co-authors. It is defined as the number of papers by a scientist with citations ≥ ħ of all the co-authors of every paper. Senior researchers may have higher ħ -index than the juniors and if the co-authors increase their own citations, ħ -index may decrease over time.[7]
  5. i-10 index: In 2011, Google Scholar introduced the i-10 index which measures the number of citations of a researcher with at least 10 citations.[18],[19] However, articles cited really high shall not get the credit they deserve by not affecting the index.[3]
Table 1: Various indices introduced to overcome the deficiencies of h-index

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The author indices provide a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the impact of an author's scientific contribution and assess the knowledge and application of the same in their professional career. It is advisable to follow not one but a combination of the indices in order to assess wisely. With the advent of social media and the impact that it has on the society, a spectrum of newer indices has to be introduced based on social presence and digitalization. With the growing trend of multiple authors and collaborators, the multi-authorship indices must be explored.[1]

At a very early stage in their career, scientists must understand the relevance and applications of the various indices of author assessment. In the process of chasing the higher indices, the authors tend to be more productive with focus on writing and publishing relevant articles, thus adding to the existing pool of knowledge wisely. Various educational bodies consider the indices as the basis for ranking individuals and assessing their progress. Therefore, a clear understanding of the indices is mandatory. Writing significant and outstanding papers with higher citations leads to overflowing productivity, scientific growth and is a reflection of scholarly activity of scientists.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie

  References Top

Salman M, Ahmed MM, Afzal MT. Assessment of author ranking indices based on multi-authorship. Scientometrics 2021;126:4153-72.  Back to cited text no. 1
Hirsch JE. An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2005;102:16569-72.  Back to cited text no. 2
Paul B, Saha I. Research rating: Some technicalities. Med J Armed Forces India 2022;78(Suppl 1):S24-30.  Back to cited text no. 3
Hicks D, Wouters P, Waltman L, de Rijcke S, Rafols I. Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics. Nature 2015;520:429-31.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kanchan T, Krishan K. The Leiden Manifesto and research assessment. Sci Eng Ethics 2019;25:643-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
Yang S, Yuan Q, Dong J. Are scientometrics, informetrics, and bibliometrics different? Data Sci Inform 2020;01:50.  Back to cited text no. 6
Hirsch JE. An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output that takes into account the effect of multiple coauthorship. Scientometrics 2010;85:741-54.  Back to cited text no. 7
Hirsch JE. Does the h index have predictive power? Proc Natl Acad Sci 2007;104:19193-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
Glänzel W. On some new bibliometric applications of statistics related to the h-index. Scientometrics 2008;77:187-96.  Back to cited text no. 9
Kosmulski M. 4 © 2005, International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) © 2005-2006, International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) 4. 2005.  Back to cited text no. 10
Batista PD, Campiteli MG, Kinouchi O. Is it possible to compare researchers with different scientific interests? Scientometrics 2006;68:179-89.  Back to cited text no. 11
Jin B. H-index: An evaluation indicator proposed by scientist. Science Focus. 2006;1:8-9.  Back to cited text no. 12
Jin B, Liang L, Rousseau R, Egghe L. The R- and AR-indices: Complementing the h-index. Chin Sci Bull 2007;52:855-63.  Back to cited text no. 13
Zhang CT. The e-Index, Complementing the h-index for excess citations. PLoS One 2009;4:e5429.  Back to cited text no. 14
Zhang CT. A proposal for calculating weighted citations based on author rank. EMBO Rep 2009;10:416-7.  Back to cited text no. 15
Todeschini R. The j-index: A new bibliometric index and multivariate comparisons between other common indices. Scientometrics 2011;87:621-39.  Back to cited text no. 16
Egghe L. An improvement of the h-index: The g-index. ISSI Newsl 2006;2:8-9.  Back to cited text no. 17
Kalvapudi S, Venkatesan S, Belavadi R, Anand V, Madhugiri VS. The author-level metrics study: An analysis of the traditional and alternative metrics of scholarly impact for neurosurgical authors. Cureus 2022;14:e27111.  Back to cited text no. 18
The donut and Altmetric Attention Score. Altmetric. 2015. Available from: https://www.altmetric.com/about-our-data/the-donut-and-score/ [Last accessed on 2022 Oct 03].  Back to cited text no. 19


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