The h-index Debate: An Introduction for Librarians


This article reviews the debate within bibliometrics regarding the h-index. Despite its popularity as a decision-making tool within higher education, the h-index has become increasingly controversial among specialists. Fundamental questions remain regarding the extent to which the h-index actually measures what it sets out to measure. Unfortunately, many aspects of this debate are confined to highly technical discussions in specialised journals. This article explains in simple terms exactly why a growing number of bibliometricians are sceptical that the h-index is a useful tool for evaluating researchers. It concludes that librarians should be cautious in their recommendations regarding this metric, at least until better evidence becomes available.

Barnes, Cameron (2017). The h -index Debate. An Introduction for Librarians, The Journal of Academic Librarianship (43), 487–494, Online: 10.1016/j.acalib.2017.08.013.

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