Why h-Index

Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-19-47


At present, one of the main ways to gauge the quality of a researcher is to use his or her h-index, which is defined as the largest integer n such that the researcher has at least n publications each of which has at least n citations. The fact that this quantity is widely used indicates that h-index indeed reasonably adequately describes the researcher's quality. So, this notion must capture some intuitive idea. However, the above definition is not intuitive at all, it sound like a somewhat convoluted mathematical exercise. So why is h-index so efficient? In this paper, we use known mathematical facts about h-index -- in particular, the results of its fuzzy-related analysis -- to come up with an intuitive explanation for the h-index's efficiency.