IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A new parameter for (normalized) evaluation of H-index: countries as a case study


  • Maziar Montazerian

    (Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)
    Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar))

  • Edgar Dutra Zanotto

    () (Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)
    Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar))

  • Hellmut Eckert

    (Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)
    Institute of Physics, São Carlos, University of São Paulo)


It is known that the H-indexes of individuals, research groups, institutions, scientific journals, and countries strongly depend on the field of study, slowly increase with the number of publications, N, and can be described by empirical power-law functions of the type H = C × Na (C and a are constants and depend on the specific field being analyzed). In this paper, we use this function and propose a new index [Montazerian–Zanotto–Eckert (MZE)], which is normalized by the number of publications and typically varies from − 1 to + 1, to characterize the relative standing of a research group, institution, or author to those of his/her peer groups. Due to the rich statistics available, as an example, here we analyzed and tested the new parameter against the citation-related performance (H-index) of countries. We found that the MZE index readily distinguishes between countries that stand above or below the average (for any given number of publications). Generally, publications of countries with a positive MZE index are more interesting or visible than the average. Analyzing publication output in this manner instead of the H-index allows for a less biased comparison between researchers, journals, universities, or countries for any particular combination of H-index and publication output.

Suggested Citation

  • Maziar Montazerian & Edgar Dutra Zanotto & Hellmut Eckert, 2019. "A new parameter for (normalized) evaluation of H-index: countries as a case study," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 118(3), pages 1065-1078, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:118:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2996-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-018-2996-z

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leo Egghe, 2006. "Theory and practise of the g-index," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 69(1), pages 131-152, October.
    2. S. Redner, 1998. "How popular is your paper? An empirical study of the citation distribution," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 131-134, July.
    3. Edgar Dutra Zanotto, 2006. "The scientists pyramid," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 69(1), pages 175-181, October.
    4. John Panaretos & Chrisovaladis Malesios, 2009. "Assessing scientific research performance and impact with single indices," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 81(3), pages 635-670, December.
    5. Jean-Francois Molinari & Alain Molinari, 2008. "A new methodology for ranking scientific institutions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 75(1), pages 163-174, April.
    6. Dragan Babić & Đuro Kutlača & Lazar Živković & Dijana Štrbac & Dušica Semenčenko, 2016. "Evaluation of the quality of scientific performance of the selected countries of Southeast Europe," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 106(1), pages 405-434, January.
    7. Juan E. Iglesias & Carlos Pecharromán, 2007. "Scaling the h-index for different scientific ISI fields," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 73(3), pages 303-320, December.
    8. Anthony F. J. Raan & Thed N. Leeuwen & Martijn S. Visser, 2011. "Severe language effect in university rankings: particularly Germany and France are wronged in citation-based rankings," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 88(2), pages 495-498, August.
    9. Jiancheng Guan & Xia Gao, 2008. "Comparison and evaluation of Chinese research performance in the field of bioinformatics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 75(2), pages 357-379, May.
    10. Gangan Prathap, 2010. "An iCE map approach to evaluate performance and efficiency of scientific production of countries," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 85(1), pages 185-191, October.
    11. Ludo Waltman & Nees Jan van Eck, 2012. "The inconsistency of the h-index," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 63(2), pages 406-415, February.
    12. Leo Egghe & Ronald Rousseau, 2006. "An informetric model for the Hirsch-index," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 69(1), pages 121-129, October.
    13. Thed N. Van Leeuwen & Henk F. Moed & Robert J. W. Tijssen & Martijn S. Visser & Anthony F. J. Van Raan, 2001. "Language biases in the coverage of the Science Citation Index and its consequencesfor international comparisons of national research performance," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 51(1), pages 335-346, April.
    14. Edgar Dutra Zanotto, 2002. "Scientific and technological development in Brazil. The widening gap," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 55(3), pages 411-419, November.
    15. Lorna Wildgaard & Jesper W. Schneider & Birger Larsen, 2014. "A review of the characteristics of 108 author-level bibliometric indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 101(1), pages 125-158, October.
    16. Zhou, Ping & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2006. "The emergence of China as a leading nation in science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 83-104, February.
    17. Tibor Braun & Wolfgang Glänzel & András Schubert, 2006. "A Hirsch-type index for journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 69(1), pages 169-173, October.
    18. Wolfgang Glänzel & Lin Zhang, 2018. "Scientometric research assessment in the developing world: A tribute to Michael J. Moravcsik from the perspective of the twenty-first century," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(3), pages 1517-1532, June.
    19. Edit Csajbók & Anna Berhidi & Lívia Vasas & András Schubert, 2007. "Hirsch-index for countries based on Essential Science Indicators data," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 73(1), pages 91-117, October.
    20. Fred Y. Ye, 2011. "A unification of three models for the h-index," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 62(1), pages 205-207, January.
    21. Alonso, S. & Cabrerizo, F.J. & Herrera-Viedma, E. & Herrera, F., 2009. "h-Index: A review focused in its variants, computation and standardization for different scientific fields," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 273-289.
    22. Schubert, András & Glänzel, Wolfgang, 2007. "A systematic analysis of Hirsch-type indices for journals," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 179-184.
    23. Waltman, Ludo, 2016. "A review of the literature on citation impact indicators," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 365-391.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Maziar Montazerian & Edgar Dutra Zanotto & Hellmut Eckert, 2020. "Prolificacy and visibility versus reputation in the hard sciences," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 123(1), pages 207-221, April.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:118:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2996-z. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.