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On the influence of uncited publications on a researcher’s h-index

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  • Shaibu Mohammed

    () (University of Energy and Natural Resources)

  • Anthony Morgan

    (University of Energy and Natural Resources)

  • Emmanuel Nyantakyi

    (University of Energy and Natural Resources)

Abstract

A researcher’s output comprises cited and uncited papers. Nevertheless, the conventional h-index considers only the cited papers; and, in particular, awards a score to the so-called high-impact papers. Consequently, the h-index fails to assess the overall performance of a researcher. The purpose of this paper is to propose an author-level metric, called an apparent h-index, that augments the h-index with the number of cited/uncited papers of a researcher. The apparent h-index (hA-index) is defined as the product of the h-index and the fraction of cited papers of a researcher. Thus, the more the uncited papers of a researcher, the less the fraction of the cited papers; and, hence, the low the hA-index. In consequence, as opposed to the h-index, the hA-index can increase or decrease depending on the future performance output of a researcher. If a researcher has all his/her publications cited, the hA-index equals the h-index; and the researcher “saves” his/her h-index. However, if at least one of the publications of a researcher is uncited, the hA-index becomes lower than the h-index. This means that the hA-index takes uncited papers into consideration by way of penalization. Case studies for Physicists and Petroleum Engineers have been presented; and the results show that a researcher with a higher h-index, but with a lot of uncited papers may have a lower apparent h-index than a researcher with a lower h-index but very few uncited papers. The proposed hA-index will ensure that researchers are wary of what they “throw” in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Shaibu Mohammed & Anthony Morgan & Emmanuel Nyantakyi, 2020. "On the influence of uncited publications on a researcher’s h-index," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(3), pages 1791-1799, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:122:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-020-03356-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-020-03356-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Isabel Basson & Jaco P. Blanckenberg & Heidi Prozesky, 2021. "Do open access journal articles experience a citation advantage? Results and methodological reflections of an application of multiple measures to an analysis by WoS subject areas," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(1), pages 459-484, January.
    2. Shaibu Mohammed & Emmanuel K. Nyantakyi & Anthony Morgan & Prosper Anumah & Justice Sarkodie-kyeremeh, 2021. "Use of relative extra citation counts and uncited publications to enhance the discriminatory power of the h-index," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(1), pages 181-199, January.

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