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August 29, 2005


D. Eppstein

Re: "Only David knows his own h-index for sure."

Actually, I don't think I do. First, because I haven't done a thorough search through SCI or Google for quite a while, so I'm missing a lot of recent cites. Second, because I'm still not really sure what counts as a paper. (Are journal versions and conference versions separate or should they be lumped together?) And third, because these numbers are only useful in comparisons if everyone's is calculated the same way. So I'd rather stick with something repeatable like your by-eye scan of Google Scholar than try to correct my own numbers to make them more accurate.


A problem with this measure is that it assumes the slope of the citation pyramid is the same for all authors. No offense, but I'd take Steve Cook's h=27 over any of the h=30-40s that you list (or any of those over my measly h=11). It seems that a more sensible measure is the corrected h-index:

h * [# citations of most cited paper]/1000.

Interestingly this gives a score, for papers only, of Knuth=34.974 compared to Cook=33.021 or Tarjan=55.754 which in terms of scholarly papers sounds about right (Knuth's enormous contribution in books & the TeX system have to be measured in a different way).

-- Paul Erdős gets only a 30?

Erdos has always been known for having many rather minor publications. I wouldn't be surprised if even a time-corrected count didn't push him much past 40.

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