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Citation Research and Impact Metrics

Methods and metrics for evaluating scholarly and research impact.

What You Need to Know

The h-index measures an individual's citation count over time. When looking at the total article output for an individual, the h-index is the number of articles that have been cited at least that number of times. So if an individual has an h-index of 9, that means they have 9 articles that have been cited 9 or more times.  The higher the number, the better.  

Originally, proponents of the h-index claimed it was a better way to compare individuals' output when those individuals were at different career points.  However, the h-index also appears to favor those with longer careers and therefore, more publications, just as the total citation count does.   Take into consideration the number of publications and career length when comparing individuals' h-indexes.  


Because the data comes from the same source, you may compare h-indexes from Experts.ASU with h-indexes from Scopus (provided the authors are in the same field and at the same career level).

Finding H-index in Experts.ASU

  1. In the center of the screen click on "Profiles" and put the ASU faculty member's name in the search box.
  2. On the results page, you should see only the entry for that person. Click on the person's name in the entry's box.
  3. On the person's profile screen, the citation count is listed on the right side.

Scopus covers some conference proceedings and books/book chapters in addition to journal articles and all document types are covered in the h-index calculation. Originally Scopus only contained article data from 1996 to the present, however they are now updating pre-1996 cited references going back to 1970 so authors with articles published from 1970-1995 may see their h-index increase over time.

Finding H-index in Scopus

Using an author search, find all the publications in the database for an individual. Recommended search strategy:

  • "lastname firstinitial" as author
  • "AND arizona state university" as affiliation name
  • Click on the author's name to view their profile
  • The h-index is prominently displayed on the left side of the page.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.