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, 33 (18), e139

Researcher and Author Impact Metrics: Variety, Value, and Context


Researcher and Author Impact Metrics: Variety, Value, and Context

Armen Yuri Gasparyan et al. J Korean Med Sci.


Numerous quantitative indicators are currently available for evaluating research productivity. No single metric is suitable for comprehensive evaluation of the author-level impact. The choice of particular metrics depends on the purpose and context of the evaluation. The aim of this article is to overview some of the widely employed author impact metrics and highlight perspectives of their optimal use. The h-index is one of the most popular metrics for research evaluation, which is easy to calculate and understandable for non-experts. It is automatically displayed on researcher and author profiles on citation databases such as Scopus and Web of Science. Its main advantage relates to the combined approach to the quantification of publication and citation counts. This index is increasingly cited globally. Being an appropriate indicator of publication and citation activity of highly productive and successfully promoted authors, the h-index has been criticized primarily for disadvantaging early career researchers and authors with a few indexed publications. Numerous variants of the index have been proposed to overcome its limitations. Alternative metrics have also emerged to highlight 'societal impact.' However, each of these traditional and alternative metrics has its own drawbacks, necessitating careful analyses of the context of social attention and value of publication and citation sets. Perspectives of the optimal use of researcher and author metrics is dependent on evaluation purposes and compounded by information sourced from various global, national, and specialist bibliographic databases.

Keywords: Bibliographic Databases; Bibliometrics; Citations; Publications; Research Evaluation; h-index.

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Number of Scopus-indexed items citing J. Hirsch's landmark article on the h-index in 2005–2018 (as of February 10, 2018).

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