The most commonly used measure of an author's impact is the h-index, which indicates the author's impact based on the citation rates of their outputs. The h-index changes over time as the author publishes more and as those publications are cited by others.
A range of sources allow you to search for an author's outputs and use them to calculate the author's h-index. The most commonly used sources for finding an author's h-index are:
- Find an h-index in Web of Science
First link to Web of Science and search for your target author. When you have identified a list of their outputs, click Citation Report, on the right. The Citation Report shows the number of items published each year and the number of citations received each year, along with the sum of citations, average citations per item and the h-index.
- Find an h-index in Scopus
First link to Scopus and search for the target author. To do this, use the Author Search tab, view a list of potential author matches. Tick the box(es) next to each correct match and then use the Show Documents button to view outputs for that author. Select the outputs you need and then click View Citation Overview to see the number of times each output has been cited per year and the h-index (shown on the right).
- View your h-index in RPS
Prior to March 2017, UCL authors' RPS profiles included an h-index calculation. Because of the way that RPS records and imports citation data based on selected bibliographic databases, this calculation was generally very inaccurate. For this reason, it has been removed from the new version of RPS. Authors are advised to use one of the other options listed for calculating their h-index.
- Find your h-index in Google Scholar
You can find out your h-index in Google Scholar by creating a Google Scholar Citations profile and adding your publications. To find an h-index for another author they will have had to create their own Google Scholar Citations profile and have made it publicly viewable. When you search Google Scholar for an author's name, links to the public profiles of matching authors appear at the top of the list of search results.
An important note about attribution.
If your target author has a common name or variant names, it is important to carefully check the list of outputs is accurate before generating an h-index. Some tools are available to help with this:
The researcherid service offers authors a free identifier which allows them to build and maintain a list of their outputs. A unique researcherid code is allocated to each author and this code can help others to find only the outputs that the author has verified as being theirs within Web of Science.
- Scopus Author Identifier
The Scopus Author Identifier is an algorithm running within the Scopus database which automatically assigns papers to a unique author identifier using data such as addresses and subject areas. Check that the correct papers have been attached to the identifier and also check that Scopus has not generated multiple identifiers for one author. Authors should send feedback to Scopus if errors and misattributions are spotted, or if multiple identifiers need to be merged.
The Open Researcher and Contributor IDentifier - ORCID - offers a platform-independent identifier which attempts to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.