Posted by: bluesyemre | November 28, 2012

End of the road for h-index rankings

  • US chemists who have ranked living chemists based on their h-indices have decided to stop compiling the rankings. The decision comes after criticism that the list lends too much emphasis to a single metric for assessing academic performance and risks tempting assessors into simplistic decisions. For the last five years, Henry ‘Fritz’ Schaefer and Amy Peterson at the University of Georgia in Athens, US, have compiled a ranked list of living chemists with h-indices of over 55. That list is published online by Chemistry World. The h-index was first described by physicist Jorge Hirsch in 2005 in an effort to overcome deficiencies in other bibliometric indices. A scientist’s h-index is the greatest number of papers they have published that have each amassed at least that number of citations. For example, George Whitesides of Harvard University in Boston, US, who is currently the highest ranked living chemist with an h-index of 169, has published 169 papers that have each received at least 169 citations.

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