Author Impact Measures

There are various measures of the impact of a researcher, but they tend to be highly correlated. The most commonly mentioned one is the h-index. [1] One can compute the h-index (and all of the other impact indexes) for any faculty member by using a tool such as the one from Harzing's Publish or Perish. [2] While it is relatively easy to do this in most cases, it can be a little more difficult when a faculty member's name is the same as other authors. Misspelled names and misspelled article titles also complicate the computation.

The h-index was developed by Hirsch for computing the research impact (productivity) of physicists. For other fields, one should normalize the h-index to the value for physicists. This is called the H-index. [3] After normalization, the traditional thresholds for academic ranks are as follows:

H-index ThresholdRank
12Tenure at a major research university
18Full professorship at a major research university
20Fellow of a major professional organization in the field
45Membership in a National Academy


[1] Wikipedia entry for the h-index,

[2] Harzing's Publish or Perish,

[3] JE Iglesias and C Pecharroman, "Scaling the h-index for different scientific ISI fields,"