The h-index ("Hirsch index")

h is the number of articles greater than h that have at least h citations.
For example, an h-index of 20 means that there are 20 items that have 20 citations or more.

This metric disregards the weight of few extremely often cited papers and of papers which were not or almost not cited so far.
In contrast to the usual journal impact factor (IF), it considers true citations of the respective papers, not those of the journal.
The h-index was developed by J.E. Hirsch and published in PNAS 102 (46): 16569-16572, 2005 [PubMed] [WebPage] [PDF].

How to determine the personal h-index:
Step 1: Sort the papers you have (co)authored in decreasing order of citations.
            Data bases like Web of Knowledge can sort in that way ("times cited - highest to lowest").   
            Take care to manually opt out name look-alikes.
Step 2: Go down the list to the last paper which has a higher (or equal) number of citations than the rank of that paper.
Step 3: The rank of that paper is the h-index.

Practical example, assumed for a total of 5 own papers:
Rank 1 = 9 times cited paper
Rank 2 = 6 times cited paper 
Rank 3 = 4 times cited paper  :-)
Rank 4 = 3 times cited paper  :-(
Rank 5 = 1 times cited paper
      h-index = 3

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