An updated h-index measures both the primary and total scientific output of a researcher

Discoveries (Craiova). Jul-Sep 2015;3(3):e50. doi: 10.15190/d.2015.42. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


The growing interest in scientometry stems from ethical concerns related to the proper evaluation of scientific contributions of an author working in a hard science. In the absence of a consensus, institutions may use arbitrary methods for evaluating scientists for employment and promotion. There are several indices in use that attempt to establish the most appropriate and suggestive position of any scientist in the field he/she works in. A scientist's Hirsch-index (h-index) quantifies their total effective published output, but h-index summarizes the total value of their published work without regard to their contribution to each publication. Consequently, articles where the author was a primary contributor carry the same weight as articles where the author played a minor role. Thus, we propose an updated h-index named Hirsch(p,t)-index that informs about both total scientific output and output where the author played a primary role. Our measure, h(p,t) = h(p),h(t), is composed of the h-index h(t) and the h-index calculated for articles where the author was a key contributor; i.e. first/shared first or senior or corresponding author. Thus, a h(p,t) = 5,10 would mean that the author has 5 articles as first, shared first, senior or corresponding author with at least 5 citations each, and 10 total articles with at least 10 citations each. This index can be applied in biomedical disciplines and in all areas where the first and last position on an article are the most important. Although other indexes, such as r- and w-indexes, were proposed for measuring the authors output based on the position of researchers within the published articles, our simpler strategy uses the already established algorithms for h-index calculation and may be more practical to implement.