Comments on the Letter to the Editor on “Multiple versions of the h-index: cautionary use for formal academic purposes” by Jaime A. Teixera da Silva and Judit Dobránszki
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In a Letter to the Editor (Teixera da Silva and Dobránszki, Scientometrics 2018) the authors highlight differences between several citation sources. There is nothing new about this, as was pointed out in several papers, including my paper in 2008. The major reason for the differences is the coverage of the databases. It influences both the number of publications of the researchers and the number of citations their publications receive.
The major weakness of the claims in the paper is to consider the h-indices of only two researchers, active in the same field (agriculture) based on four citation sources: WoS, Scopus, Google Scholar and ResearchGate. The authors mention when listing the limitations of the h-index that the “there are differences in the h-index between disciplines”, but seem to ignore this in their discussion and base their conclusions on themselves only.
- Bar-Ilan, J. (2008). Which h-index?—A comparison of WoS. Scopus and Google Scholar. Scientometrics, 74(2), 257–271.Google Scholar
- Elsevier. (2017). Scopus content coverage guide. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/69451/0597-Scopus-Content-Coverage-Guide-US-LETTER-v4-HI-singles-no-ticks.pdf. Accessed 28 Dec 2017.
- Ruiz-Pérez, R., López-Cózar, E. D., & Jiménez-Contreras, E. (2002). Spanish personal name variations in national and international biomedical databases: Implications for information retrieval and bibliometric studies. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 90(4), 411–430.Google Scholar
- Teixera da Silva, J. A., & Dobránszki, J. (2018). Multiple versions of the h-index: Cautionary use for formal academic purposes. Scientometrics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2680-3.