Skip to Main Content

Citation and Journal Measures

this page is designed to help Penn State users find the bibliometics measurements used to gauge the impact of researchers, institutions, and journals.


The h-index1 measures both the scientific productivity and the apparent scientific impact of a specific scientist. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that those articles have received in other people's publications.

A scientist has index h if h of his or her number of published papers (Np) have at least h citations each and the other (Np – h) papers have ≤ h citations each.

For example, an h-index of 20 means there are 20 papers that have 20 citations or more. This metric is useful because it discounts the disproportionate weight of highly cited papers or papers that have not yet been cited.

This calculation only includes items in the Web of Science database - books and articles in non-covered journals are not included.

  1. J. E. Hirsch.  "An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output."  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (46): 16569-16572; November 25, 2005. doi:10.1073/pnas.0507655102

h-index searching

Step One

Click the down arrow next to the words "Basic Search" and select "Author Search" 


Web of Science screen showing location of the Author Search

Step Two

Type the author last name and first initial in the appropriate search boxes with an asterisk after the first initial (e.g. Fonash S*). If the author has a unique name, click "Finish Search". If the author has a common last name, use both initials instead of the first initial plus an asterisk (e.g. Smith HF instead of Smith H*) and proceed through the "Research Domain" and "Organization" options to choose the correct individual before clicking "Finish Search"


Web of Science screen showing author search boxes

Step Three

Click on Create Citation Report in the right column (this will take some time to calculate if the author has many articles)


Web of Science screen showing location of Create Citation Report option

Step Four

The results will show several graphs (Published Items in Each Year and Citations in Each Year) showing the latest 20 years of data. If more years of data are available, there will be a link to view a graph with all years. To the right of the graphs will be a  summary of the results including the number of articles by the author, the total citations to those articles, the average citation per article and the h-index.

Web of Science screen showing location of h-index information

Under the graphs the author's articles will be listed, in descending times cited order, showing the number of citations to each article per year. The sort order of the articles can be changed to latest date, source, published year, etc. Only five columns of years are shown, but there are arrows to move through the years. Checkboxes beside the articles allow removal of individual items from the Citation Report or to restrict items by year. 

You can print, email or save these citations.  If emailed, the graphs do NOT appear, but the summary and the articles with their yearly cites are presented in a table. If saved, the results are saved as a simple text file. If printed, the fully formatted results with graphs are retained.