Cited Reference Searching & Journal Rankings: H-Index

How to locate articles and other documents that have cited a previously published document. Also how to determine where a journal is ranked in relation to others in its field.

What is H-Index?

The h-index is based on a list of publications ranked in descending order by the Times Cited. The value of h is equal to the number of papers (N) in the list that have N or more citations.  This metric is useful because it discounts the disproportionate weight of highly cited papers or papers that have not yet been cited.

Calculating the h-index Value - The h-index factor is based on the depth of our Web of Science subscription and your selected timespan. Items that do not appear on the Results page will not be factored into the calculation. Our subscription depth is 10 years, then the h-index value is based on this depth even though a particular author may have published articles more than 10 years ago. Moreover, the calculation only includes items in Web of Science - books and articles in non-covered journals are not included.

Source: The h-index was developed by J.E. Hirsch and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (46): 16569-16572 November 15 2005.


Web of Science also includes h-index numbers which are intended to reflect the impact and relevance of an individual author's research.  The h-index reflects the number of papers by an author as well as their impact or times cited.

To find an individual's h-index factor, first conduct an Author search in WOS:

Perform an author search

The Results list will appear:

graphic showing search results

If the last name is fairly common, you may need to Refine the search by selecting or excluding one or more subject areas:

Refine the author search if the last name if fairly common.

When you have completed your search, click on Create Citation Report:

Click on Create Citation Report

The h-index value will appear towards the upper right portion of the screen:

graphic indicating the location of the h-index value


Calculation of the h-index factor is based only on the items appearing in the result list, and is limited to items in Web of Science - books and articles in non-covered journals are not included.  It is also limited by the depth of Marquette's Web of Science subscription which begins with 1980. Papers published prior to that time will not be included in the calculation.