Sunday, March 4, 2012

Darwin's h-index

  I guess most scientists are nowadays familiar with the term "h-index", which is a metric of citations to your published articles. More specifically the h-index correspond to the number of articles (h) that have at least h citations. Given that this index is used by many funding agencies and by peers that evaluate you for a position or competitive grant, we all hope to see it grow year by year.

  Charles Darwin lived in completely different times, he had no need to apply for grants or positions every few years and there was no system to track citations or give a "number" to the supposed "impact" of his research.  He, nevertheless, has been absorbed by the current metrics obsession and has already an h-index, computed by google scholar. 

His magic number is 63. Will this change anyway our idea of how important was Darwin's impact to Science? or it will rather help us to put the h-index into context, and highlight the difficulty of measuring true impacts?


  1. Hombre, a mi un H de 63 me parece bastante cañero, sobreotodo si observas otras cosas en paralelo, como que más de cien años tras su muerte su H de los últimos cinco años siga siendo 40!! Además, claro, su H10 es de 175 (all time) y 99 (ult. 5 años). También podemos ir a sus obras más citadas: 20000, 10000 y 8000 citas. Casi ná! :D

    Lo que si que me molesta, y esto es puramente tribal, es que un no-biologo, Einstein, tenga un H de 91 (56 ult. 5 años). ;)

  2. Claro que es cañero 63, pero hay muchos autores actuales que superan a Darwin con creces, mira Chris Sander

    con 90 y pico, y todavia en activo. A eso me referia, es muy relativo, no creo que podamos decir que Sander tiene mas impacto que Darwin.

    Por que te molesta que Einstein supere a Darwin?