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Bibliometrics and Altmetrics: Author-Level Metrics

A guide to research metrics, which are used to evaluate the amount of attention an author, article, or journal receives via citations and online

The h-index

The h-index was proposed by Jorge E. Hirsch, a physicist at UC San Diego, in 2005. It means that the author has published at least h papers that have each received at least h citations.


  • Grant applications
  • CVs or online profiles
  • Tenure & promotion


  • Ignores highly cited papers
  • Disparities between disciplines
  • Disparities between scholars at different career stages
  • Varies based on the platform used to calculate it
  • Easy to manipulate through self-citation
  • Citations do not measure quality

Free Tools

Social Media

Both popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter) and academic social media sites (ResearchGate, can be powerful tools for sharing your work. Here are some resources related to sharing on social media: