Individual Metrics: H-index

What does it measure?

The h-index is a measure of how many papers an academic has published which have reached a certain level of influence or impact. The more papers an academic has published that have been cited and the more citations per paper, the higher the h-index. Notice that the h-index does not take into account the prestige of the journal in which the article was published.

How is it measured?

Two pieces of information are required: the total number of papers published and the number of times each paper has been cited. To calculate the h-index, determine how many h of a researcher’s publications have at least h citations each. In other words, if you have published one paper and it has been cited one time, you have an h-index of one, if you have published two papers that have been cited at least twice, you have an h-index of two. Alternately, if you have published only two papers and they have been cited at least ten times each your h-index is still two.

How do I get the data?

Note: Calculations of h-index using the NDSU Libraries’ subscription to Web of Science will be based on citations included in the Science Citation Index Expanded (includes back files) and the Social Science Citation Index. The NDSU Libraries do not have access to the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Book Citation Index, or Conference Proceedings Citation Index.

  1. Navigate to the Web of Science database through the NDSU Libraries website
  2. At the top left, click on Author Search
  3. Enter last name, first initial (example: Smith B) and select the research domain to narrow your results and click Search
  4. Click on the Record Sets tab to review author names and associated records to make sure you have the correct researcher
  5. Check the box next to the desired records and click on View Records
  6. Click on the Create Citation Report link on the right side of the page
  7. The Citation Report begins with two graphs, Published Items in Each Year and Citations in Each Year. To the right of the graphs, you will find the h-index

Further Reading

Hirsh, J. (2005). An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output. Retrieved from:

Bar-Ilan, J. (2008). Which h-index? – A comparison of WoS, Scopus and Google Scholar. Scientometrics 74 (2), 257-271. doi: 10.1007/s11192-008-0216-y. Retrieved from:

Thomson Reuter’s h-index tutorial