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Citation Metrics: Journals: H Index: Home

H Index for Journal Level Metric Analysis

The H Index is a metric which attempts to measure both productivity and impact. It can be applied at the journal, author or article level. H indexes are available via the databases Scopus and Web of Science. The websites Scimago and Google Scholar also provides H indexes for journals quite easily. The H index measure was created in 2005 by JE Hirsch in an article published in PNAS. One essentially looks at where the number of articles published and the number of citations per article cross on a graph - so a journal with an H Index of 100 has at least 100 article each cited at least 100 times. 

Advantages of H-Index:

  • Allows for direct comparisons of journals in the same discipline
  • A measure of both impact and productivity using one number

Disadvantage of H-Index:

  • Will vary by which source is being used to calculate. For instance, the Scopus H Index will only include citations from journals included in the Scopus database, which is not inclusive for any discipline. A Google Scholar H Index will tend to be high because sources are included in GS that are not included in traditional databases (technical or government reports, dissertations, teaching materials, etc.)

Journal H Index in Scopus

The Scopus database works well to calculate H Indexes for small and moderate sized journals. It cannot calculate on the fly for more than about 2000 articles. If the journal you are interested in has more articles than that  you'll need to go to another source. Below are the steps to calculate a journal H Index.

From the  main search page:

  • enter journal title e.g. "organization studies" and select Source Title from the drop-down menu;
  • set the desired publication window using the Date Range limit;
  • select Search;
  • check that the target title is the only journal listed under Refine > Source Title in the left-hand side column - if not, tick the box next to the target title and Limit to;
  • Select all documents from the result list (to access this see drop-down options for the checkbox above the list of results);
  • select View citation overview;
  • h-index appears to the right-hand-side of the screen.

Alternatively you can calculate an H5 Index, which is the H Index for the past 5 full years. So long as this is done for every journal title being considered it should be equally as illuminating as the full H Index.

Journal H Index in Google Scholar

Google Scholar indexes many kinds of scholarly information including journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings, dissertations, teaching materials, etc. GS provides an H5 Index for most journals (H index for the most recent 5 full years) and also offers subject categories, ranking journals listed within each category.. To check a journal's H5 Index follow these steps:

  • click on the Metrics tab
  • click on the "search" icon
  • type in the title of the journal - you may need to try more than one spelling (e.g. with or without ampersand, alternate title, abbreviated title);
  • the h5-index and h5-median will appear if available;
  • select the hyperlinked h5-index number to view the h5-core (articles cited at least h times) and to see if the journal is in the top 20 of a subject category

Journal H Index in Scimago

The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a publicly available portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus database. To find a journal's H Index in Scimago follow these steps:

  • Select the "journal ranks" option from the main page
  • Type the name of your journal into the search box (top right)
  • Click on the name of the journal

The results will provide the H Index plus a lot of additional information about your journal. Because the ranking is based on information from the Scopus database it should be analogous to Scopus H Index rankings and is more easily obtained because it is calculated for all years, not just the H5 Index which must sometimes be used in Scopus for large journals.