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A new methodology for ranking scientific institutions


  • Jean-Francois Molinari

    (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan)

  • Alain Molinari

    () (Université Paul Verlaine)


We extend the pioneering work of J. E. Hirsch, the inventor of the h-index, by proposing a simple and seemingly robust approach for comparing the scientific productivity and visibility of institutions. Our main findings are that i) while the h-index is a sensible criterion for comparing scientists within a given field, it does not directly extend to rank institutions of disparate sizes and journals, ii) however, the h-index, which always increases with paper population, has an universal growth rate for large numbers of papers; iii) thus the h-index of a large population of papers can be decomposed into the product of an impact index and a factor depending on the population size, iv) as a complement to the h-index, this new impact index provides an interesting way to compare the scientific production of institutions (universities, laboratories or journals).

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Francois Molinari & Alain Molinari, 2008. "A new methodology for ranking scientific institutions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 75(1), pages 163-174, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:75:y:2008:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-007-1853-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-007-1853-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gad Saad, 2006. "Exploring the h-index at the author and journal levels using bibliometric data of productive consumer scholars and business-related journals respectively," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 69(1), pages 117-120, October.
    2. Michael G. Banks, 2006. "An extension of the Hirsch index: Indexing scientific topics and compounds," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 69(1), pages 161-168, October.
    3. Alain Molinari & Jean-Francois Molinari, 2008. "Mathematical aspects of a new criterion for ranking scientific institutions based on the h-index," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 75(2), pages 339-356, May.
    4. Tibor Braun & Wolfgang Glänzel & András Schubert, 2006. "A Hirsch-type index for journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 69(1), pages 169-173, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gad Saad, 2010. "Applying the h-index in exploring bibliometric properties of elite marketing scholars," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 83(2), pages 423-433, May.
    2. Zhao, Star X. & Tan, Alice M. & Yu, Shuang & Xu, Xin, 2018. "Analyzing the research funding in physics: The perspective of production and collaboration at institution level," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 508(C), pages 662-674.
    3. 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.
    4. Alfio Ferrara & Silvia Salini, 2012. "Ten challenges in modeling bibliographic data for bibliometric analysis," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 93(3), pages 765-785, December.
    5. Clarice Gameiro Fonseca Pachi & Jorge Futoshi Yamamoto & Anna Paula Amadeu Costa & Luis Fernandez Lopez, 2012. "Relationship between connectivity and academic productivity," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 93(2), pages 265-278, November.
    6. Fiorenzo Franceschini & Domenico Maisano, 2012. "Publication and patent analysis of European researchers in the field of production technology and manufacturing systems," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 93(1), pages 89-100, October.
    7. Dilruba Mahbuba & Ronald Rousseau, 2010. "Scientific research in the Indian subcontinent: selected trends and indicators 1973–2007 comparing Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with India, the local giant," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 84(2), pages 403-420, August.
    8. Sebastian K. Boell & Concepción S. Wilson, 2010. "Journal Impact Factors for evaluating scientific performance: use of h-like indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 82(3), pages 613-626, March.
    9. O. Mryglod & R. Kenna & Yu. Holovatch & B. Berche, 2015. "Predicting results of the Research Excellence Framework using departmental h-index," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(3), pages 2165-2180, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Alain Molinari & Jean-Francois Molinari, 2008. "Mathematical aspects of a new criterion for ranking scientific institutions based on the h-index," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 75(2), pages 339-356, May.

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