A novel bibliometric index with a simple geometric interpretation

Trevor Fenner, Martyn Harris, Mark Levene, Judit Bar-Ilan

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42 Scopus citations
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We propose the χ-index as a bibliometric indicator that generalises the h-index. While the h-index is determined by the maximum square that fits under the citation curve of an author when plotting the number of citations in decreasing order, the χ-index is determined by the maximum area rectangle that fits under the curve. The height of the maximum rectangle is the number of citations ck to the kth most-cited publication, where k is the width of the rectangle. The χ-index is then defined as √kck, for convenience of comparison with the h-index and other similar indices. We present a comprehensive empirical comparison between the χ-index and other bibliometric indices, focusing on a comparison with the h-index, by analys-ing two datasets—a large set of Google Scholar profiles and a small set of Nobel prize winners. Our results show that, although the χ and h indices are strongly correlated, they do exhibit significant differences. In particular, we show that, for these data sets, there are a substantial number of profiles for which χ is significantly larger than h. Furthermore, restricting these profiles to the cases when ck > k or ck < k corresponds to, respectively, classifying researchers as either tending to influential, i.e. having many more than h citations, or tending to prolific, i.e. having many more than h publications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0200098
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Fenner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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