, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 1115–1117 | Cite as

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

  • Judit Bar-Ilan

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.

I assume that the first author, with a very high number of publications (972 according to ResearchGate) was amazed to...


  1. Bar-Ilan, J. (2008). Which h-index?—A comparison of WoS. Scopus and Google Scholar. Scientometrics, 74(2), 257–271.Google Scholar
  2. Elsevier. (2017). Scopus content coverage guide. Retrieved from Accessed 28 Dec 2017.
  3. Ruiz-Pérez, R., Delgado-Lopez-Cózar, E., & Jiménez-Contreras, E. (2003). Spanish name indexing errors in international databases. The Lancet, 361(9369), 1656–1657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 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
  5. Teixera da Silva, J. A., & Dobránszki, J. (2018). Multiple versions of the h-index: Cautionary use for formal academic purposes. Scientometrics.
  6. Testa, J. (2009). The Thomson Reuters journal selection process. Transnational Corporations Review, 1(4), 59–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceBar-Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael

Personalised recommendations