Scientists, Know Thy Hirsch Number!

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4 Responses

  1. Tuks says:

    It was a very interesting article. What I like about his proposed h factor is that it almost completely eliminates erroneous impressions made by a long list of cited minor co-authorships by certain authors.

    However, it could have some flaws. Particularly, it invites the rise of cross-citations (i.e. authors indiscriminately citing their own previous works). Just looking at the h factor and not looking at the list of raw citations may show the wrong impression regarding the impact of a published work.

    More importantly, this indexing scheme, depends a lot on the popularity (and the number of researchers in that area) of a research field. For example, Manuel Cardona (the grand old man of modern semiconductor physics) had a higher h compared to Stephen Hawking. Off hand, everybody would agree that Stephen Hawking is a celebrity while Cardona is famous only to scientists in his field. Condensed matter physicists “might” outnumber astrophysicists 100:1. This could be the major factor why Cardona had a much higher h value—there are just more competent scientists in his field who would cite his work compared to Hawking. However, the impact factor of astrophysics journals, on the average, are 5 times that of condensed matter physics journals. Clearly, in this case, the h index was not able to provide an accurate comparison between two scientists.

    IMHO, this new yardstick proposal may very well be a good complement to raw citation lists and impact factor information of one’s published works. But it may not be a considered as a single defining measure of a scientist’s research output.

    Peace.

  2. abner muhi says:

    Hi,
    I am an electrical engineer by profession. I’ve been doing a research on alternative fuel/biofuel during my spare time. I have a chemical reaction involving waste vegetable oil. I am sure the resulting gas from the reaction is flammable. But I don’t know what kind of gas it is. Can you help me find a chemist or a chemical lab for complete analysis. Thanks.

  3. gil tampoa says:

    Hello abner, i just registered and am amazed that there is this BKR blog. am thrilled. just wnated to ask if your question was answered already—- april 2008?

  1. November 11, 2007

    Eric…

    Bravo. It is about time someone delved into this….