A scientist has index h if h of his/her N papers have at least h citations each, and the other (N-h) papers have fewer than h citations each.
In a relatively low-citing field like CS, I wonder whether this approach would also be considered for assessing one’s output?
I found the appellation "low-citing" rather startling (given how many of my papers have more than 50 references), but it's a good question. Fortunately, it's also a fairly easy question to answer, given the propensity of ((most) current) computer scientists to put their papers on the web.
Here are h-factors for a few prominent computational geometers, according to Google Scholar, with name collisions filtered by
hand eye. These aren't the only people I checked, but I left anyone with an index below 20 off the list.
- Pankaj Agarwal: 32
- Jon Bentley: 33
- Bernard Chazelle: 34
- Ken Clarkson: 20
- Herbert Edelsbrunner: 37
- David Eppstein: 29
- Paul Erdős: 30 (sic)
- Leo "unsorted" Guibas: 43
- Mark Overmars: 23
- Micha Sharir: 43
- Jack Snoeyink: 21
- Emo Welzl: 23
(For the record, my GSh-factor is 13. Look at my pocket watch. Concentrate. You are getting verrrry sleepy. You want to cite me more. At the count of 3 you will wake up relaxed and energized. 1...2...)
It's goes without saying that Google Scholar is heavily skewed toward more recent citations. (Paul Erdős gets only a 30?) Arguably, that bias makes it a better indicator of current, direct impact, but it skews the index from its original intention. On the other hand, what else could I use? Science Citation Index does a horrible job indexing computer science papers. Only David knows his own h-index for sure.
Oh, I can just see those tenure and promotions committees foaming at the mouth. “A number! A single number! Now, finally, we can make rational, objective decisions!” Lord help us.
Update: Piotr Indyk (24) chides me for omitting Ken Clarkson (20) and Jon Bentley (33). Shame on me. Bad, bad, bad.