What the H!? What Is an H-Index, and What Does It Say about Authors Anyway?

Guest post by Monica Moore, Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Cheri Smith, Psychology Librarian, Hesburgh Libraries.

 

As a member of the scholarly community, you may occasionally hear people mention the term “h-index.” The h-index is a number assigned to individual scholars that measures both their scholarly output and scholarly impact. It is a calculation based on the number of papers a scholar has published, and how often those publications have been cited. The “h” stands for Dr. Jorge E. Hirsch, a physicist from UCSD, who, in 2005, recommended using this calculation to measure impact.

This is the formula for calculating an index:

 

However, the easiest way to understand it is to think about actual examples. If an author has published 20 papers, and 10 of those papers have been cited 10 times, then the author has an h-index of 10. If an author has published 100 papers, and all of them have been cited at least 100 times, then the author has an h-index of 100.

 

How is the h-index used?

 

Many universities, including Notre Dame, use the h-index as a part of the promotion and tenure process. It is most heavily used in the sciences and social sciences, as these are the disciplines that are most likely to generate publications that are frequently cited. Works of fiction, poetry, or art are not typically cited, so their impact should be measured in other ways. If you are in a science or social science field, it is a good idea to keep track of how often people are citing your work. You can set up a profile for yourself in Google Scholar, Web of Science or Scopus, and attach it to your ORCiD so that your publications are disambiguated from other publications from authors with names that are similar to your own. This way you can easily help colleagues, employers, or potential employers see the measurable impact you’ve had in your discipline.

 

Where can you find the h-index for an author?

 

In order to calculate an author’s h-index accurately, you would have to have a list of all of the author’s publications and know the number of citations to each of those publications.

There are several resources you can use to make this easier: Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar. While Google Scholar is a freely available resource which indexes content on the open web, Web of Science and Scopus are library subscription indexes that are available to all University of Notre Dame faculty, staff, and students. Google Scholar requires the individual researcher to set up a profile to track their publications and calculate their h-index, while Web of Science and Scopus provide a report based on the author name entered.

 

Web of Science: h-index

 

Let’s say we’re interested in finding the h-index for Jane Goodall. In Web of Science, we can do an author search for her publications, using the Author dropdown menu from the Web of Science search page, and find the Jane Goodall that we’re looking for by disambiguating by an affiliated organization or through another author identifier such as an ORCiD. Once we’ve done that, we can click on the “Create Citation Report” option on the right-hand side of the screen to get her h-index:

 

 

Scopus: h-index

 

In Scopus, we would use a similar process for finding the h-index of an author: from the Search menu, we would search for the author name, disambiguate by organization or another author ID, and click on the author name details to bring up their h-index information:

 

 

You can see that the h-index in Scopus is different from what is in Web of Science. Why is this?

Title lists, subject area, and time period coverage can vary between these two resources, which will affect the h-index calculation. For an overview of the differences between Scopus and Web of Science, you can view this guide from Boston College, or learn more about the Web of Science content coverage policy or the Scopus content policy.

Another variable to be aware of is the author name itself, and any variations associated with it. While things like affiliation can help to disambiguate author names, it’s always better to search by some type of author identifier if one exists for that author. The primary example of an author identifier that is system-neutral is the ORCiD. Both Web of Science and Scopus allow for searching by the author’s ORCiD, and both Scopus and Web of Science allow for the exclusion of self-citations in articles before calculating the h-index.

 

Google Scholar: h-index

 

Unlike Web of Science and Scopus, Google Scholar requires the author to set up a profile in order to track the author’s h-index; however, you can check to see if one is available for an author in Google Scholar by searching for their profile from Google Scholar, as shown below:

 

 

In the above example, we can see that there is a profile for “jane goodall,” but not the same “jane goodall” that we saw in Web of Science or Scopus. If it had existed, we might have seen another, different h-index number since the pool of publications and citation information could also be different from what is used by Web of Science and Scopus.

 

Things to consider…

 

The h-index is actually just one method of measuring scholarly impact collectively known as citation indicators, and it’s not without its critics.  The difference in title coverage for the tools that generate the h-index number is one of the biggest issues, along with the need for researchers to maintain and keep up with their publication profiles in Google Scholar or monitor their citation analysis information in Scopus or Web of Science. Retracted papers that are still cited and self-citations can distort the h-index unless these are not excluded in the calculation of it. The article “Multiple versions of the h-index: Cautionary use for formal academic purposes,” provides a good overview of these and other questions related to the h-index.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about the h-index is that is just one measure of scholarly activity and impact. For more information on h-index concerns and other methods of measurement, check out this information at ImpactStory, and stay tuned for another blog entry on Altmetrics!

 

Biking Around Notre Dame

In this special guest post, Jessica Schiltz a Graduate Orientation Ambassador, breaks down the bike options for getting to all the best places. 

The beauty of our campus is undeniable, with the sprawling quads, carefully lined flower beds and the grassy expanses, artfully lined with paved sidewalks. The winding paths and acres of lawns and landscaping are however, less than desirable when you need to get somewhere fast. The University of Notre Dame is approximately 2mi2 and navigating on- and off-campus can be time-consuming.

In order to optimize your daily routes consider acquiring a bicycle. Purchase options are always available at the wholesale retailers in Mishawaka, but if you’re looking for a deal that isn’t in a store, or on Craigslist, every year Fischer O’Hara Grace (Graduate Student Housing) hosts a bicycle raffle at the start of fall semester. Not sure if you need a bike right away? No problem, Notre Dame hosts an Old2Gold sale that includes donated campus bicycles. (Side note: graduate students who work year-round should remember to visit ND Security Police (NDSP) in Hammes Mowbray Hall in May to pick up a summer tag for their bike, so that your bike doesn’t get removed during this annual clearing!) You can also hunt for deals at the annual spring Bicycle Swap through the Bike Michiana Coalition, where you can haggle for mountain, road, and cruiser variants.

It is highly recommended that you register the ownership of your current or newly acquired bicycle through NDSP. This improves chances of recovery if lost or stolen, or possibly placed on a tree branch. To prevent damage to your property and nearby leafy perennials, consider purchasing a U-lock rather than a cable lock and, if on campus, secure your bike to a bike rack. Also two quick pro tips: once summer is over, and winter quickly approaches, NDSP is willing to store bicycles for free, keeping them safe from the ravages of freezing temperatures and salt. Oh, you have a popped inner tube? Need a new chain? Proform Bike Shop is the closest place where you can get help on maintenance and repairs.

Can’t afford the purchase of a new or used bicycle? Consider LimeBike. These bright key-lime green cruisers are dotted across ND and South Bend. Download their mobile app on Google Play or the App Store to set up an account and ride for 30 minutes for only a $1.00! Plus, if you sign-up with a valid ND (.edu) email, you can get a 50% discount. Plus, if you know you’ll use LimeBike frequently the LimePrime Students program is $14.95 a month that includes 100 ride credits. So, if you are sick of two-ten-ing (walking) everywhere, waste no time and go find a two-wheeled ride!

Meet More Graduate Orientation Ambassadors!

In this post, we reveal the identity of three of our graduate orientation ambassadors (GOAs). These lovely people have volunteered to support the New Student Orientation taking place in August 2018. While all ND grad students are awesomesauce, the GOAs are a special flavor of awesomeness. If you see them during orientation, or just around, be sure to say hello!

 

Hi! My name is Chuanqi Wang, a third-year PhD student in ACMS department. I’m working with Dr. Jun Li, and our research is mainly about machining learning methods for single cell RNA sequencing data. I’m originally from China and very excited to be a GOA to welcome new graduate students. When I’m not working, I like to go to fitness classes, do some oil painting and handcrafts. I also enjoy cooking and exploring local restaurants. If you have any questions or common interests with me, I’d be more than happy to communicate with you.

 

Hello everyone! My name is Claire Scott-Bacon and I am currently a second-year Ph.D. student in clinical psychology. I am originally from England and call Miami, Florida my home. Currently, while at ND, I call Mishawaka my home away from home.

I enjoy going to the movies, watching superhero movies, gardening, biking, walking, being out on the water (i.e., lake or ocean), fishing, boating, and traveling.

I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to you on your acceptance at Notre Dame, while extending a warm welcome to the South Bend, Mishawaka, Michigan, and Michiana community.  I can assure you there are plenty things to do, see, hear, and enjoy during your down time on and away from campus.

As a non-traditional graduate student, I am very excited to be serving as your Graduate Orientation Ambassador.  I look forward to helping you through your early days on campus at the graduate orientation. Please feel free to as me any question (face-to-face or via email at cscottba@nd.edu) about ND, South Bend, Mishawaka, local attractions, accommodations, transportation, and homeownership.

 

 

 

My name is Arman, I’m from Iran, and I am a second year computer science PhD student. I like playing sports as a hobby, especially volleyball. Come find me if you are interested once you get here! 

 

 

 

7 Books Every Grad Student Should Read

Are you looking for some beginning of the semester reading? I’m a fourth-year grad student and I have found these 7 books to be quite influential in my own ability to navigate the world of academia. You may find them helpful too:

The Professor is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD into a Job by

Karen Kelsky

  • Shows you how to structure your time and priorities to meet the demands of the job market.
  • Best for those in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

Advice for New Faculty Members by Robert Boice

  • Empirically informed explanation for how to overcome the bad habits you’ve formed as a student and how to start thinking like a true scholar
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It by Valeri Young

  • Good for all people- explains impostor syndrome and how to identify that this is the problem that you or your colleagues are suffering from and some key ways to overcome it

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

  • Explains the importance of being in touch with your core values and how to approach structuring your work around those values.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang

  • You will get rejected again and again as an academic. This book shows how you can understand these rejections as opportunities while transforming them from ego crushers to ego boosters.

 

The Power of Habit: Why We do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

  • Learn how to craft your approach to your work. By incorporating cues and automating a lot of your research process, you can get more done with less resistance.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin

  • Understanding all of the intricacies of top performers can inform your work process. There are many subtle nuances to becoming an expert in a field, and this book explores how the good from the great are defined by very subtle differences in everyday decisions.

Meet this year’s Graduate Orientation Ambassadors!

In this post, we reveal the identity of three of our graduate orientation ambassadors (GOAs). These lovely people have volunteered to support the New Student Orientation taking place in August 2018. While all ND grad students are awesomesauce, the GOAs are a special flavor of awesomeness. If you see them during orientation, or just around, be sure to say hello!

 

Hi! My name is Aliyah Abu-Hazeem and I am a current second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at ND. I am so excited to be serving as a Graduate Orientation Ambassador to help usher you into your new and exciting graduate career! Congratulations! I’m originally from the Southside of Chicago, so community runs deep for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find a tight-knit community both at and around ND, so I’m here to assure you that the same will be true for you. South Bend has so much to offer you in addition to all of the wonderful resources that ND affords its graduate students. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by email: aabuhaze@nd.edu. You can ask me about anything from recommendations on fun things to do on the weekend, local activism and organizing, and homeownership (which is totally possible given SB’s affordability).

 

 

Pamela Bilo Thomas is a third-year PhD student studying under Dr. Nitesh Chawla. Her main areas of focus are machine learning and data mining in relation to health care and disease. Pam is especially interested in chronic illnesses and the socioeconomic roots that contribute to the progression of disease. Pam is a native Hoosier and excited to bring her talents to Notre Dame from Indianapolis, where she has three years of industry experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. Before Notre Dame, she received her undergrad and master’s degree from IU Bloomington. When she is not working in lab, Pam is usually exploring the outdoors, doing yoga, traveling, or hanging out with her husband and 7-year-old Shih Tzu, Hugo.

 

 

Hello! My name is Michelle Corley and I am a second-year Ph.D. student in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program. I am working with Dr. Mary Ann McDowell in the Biological Sciences Department. I am very excited to be working as a Graduate Orientation Ambassador and to welcome here at ND! I’m originally from South Carolina received my bachelors of science degree in Chemistry and Biology from Winthrop University. When I’m not in lab you can find me participating in group fitness classes, spoiling my kittens with treats, or spending time with my significant other. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to any of us GOAs and we’d be happy to help you.

Sneak Peek: Find library workshops to build your skills and marketability

In this guest post, Mandy Havert, Digital Research and Outreach Librarian in charge of Graduate Outreach Services, shares some of the excellent training opportunities for Grad Students! 

As you prepare for the new academic year, be sure to keep informed of library events, including professional development workshops.  Details of upcoming events always can be found on the Hesburgh Libraries Events Calendar: https://library.nd.edu/events

Watch for dates and times to be announced for this sample of sessions planned for the coming academic year, register and put them in your calendar.

 

 

Up and Running with HTML and CSS (Beginner)

A basic familiarity with HTML and CSS can improve the clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness of your communication and design. No previous experience with HTML or CSS is necessary. These skills help you work effectively and save time when formatting content.

 

Up and Running with Bootstrap (Intermediate)

Bootstrap is one of the most popular frameworks for rapidly building professional-looking,  seamless, mobile-friendly websites with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. A basic working understanding of HTML and CSS is required. You will create a great-looking and effective bootstrap website from the ground up.

 

Create Your Professional Website with WordPress.com (Beginner)

A well-designed website enhances one’s professional ethos offering a collective, public, discoverable space to share thoughts (blog) or publications, as well as other information—such as where, when and how to contact you. No coding experience is required. Bring your cv. You’ll find that your potential grant funders and employers can learn more about you and put you ahead of others in the same job or funding pool.

 

Introduction to Archival Research

Does your advisor assume you know how to do archival research? Have you never set foot in an archive or special collections library? Here’s your chance. This workshop will give you a hands-on crash course working with rare materials and finding aids in our rare books and special collections.

 

Careers: What’s Involved in Working in Special Collections, Archives, and Museums?

Whether earning a Master’s or PhD, there are great careers to explore outside of the tenure-track. Hear about careers in Special Collections, Archives, and Museums. This panel discussion with give you a chance to ask questions and hear different perspectives from people in the field. Learn about different ways to use your graduate degree and still remain in the academy.

 

Read more thoroughly through text mining and natural language processing 

This session provides a very high level overview of the various levels of text mining techniques and how the technology can be used to process or read many texts at one time.

 

Datafile and File Organization and Management 

Do you struggle with locating your files? Is it nearly impossible for you to find and retrieve articles and content that you’ve saved on a moment’s notice? Some organizational approaches will be shared in this session and you’ll have the opportunity to try out some techniques for more effectively managing your data files.

 

 

We’re here for you! This is a sample of our offerings. Don’t see the workshop you need on our events or calendar pages? Contact Mandy Havert at asklib@nd.edu with your request and contact information.

Getting Started with Hesburgh Libraries

In this guest post, Mandy Havert, Digital Research and Outreach Librarian in charge of Graduate Outreach Services, shares how to make the most of your Hesburgh Library experience. 

As a new graduate student or returning student at Notre Dame, you will find the Hesburgh Libraries has a lot to offer. Begin by checking out this guide for getting started with Hesburgh Libraries before you come to campus: https://resources.library.nd.edu/documents/faculty-checklist.pdf  Once you have a campus network login – your NetID – you will be able to sign in and customize your library account. This includes being able to monitor the status of materials you have borrowed from our local collections or materials you have requested from other libraries.

In addition to our materials and collections, take a look at people and events in the Hesburgh Libraries. We have over 30 subject librarians located throughout campus to help you become familiar with what’s available to you, and to keep you up-to-date on how the libraries can support your research. You are able to request purchases for our collections, and if you develop a working relationship with your librarian, he or she will be able to anticipate what’s important for your research. Contact information for our subject librarians is available to you from our directory page: https://directory.library.nd.edu/directory, Visit this page to learn about campus locations for the Hesburgh Libraries: https://library.nd.edu/hesburgh-floor-maps#

The “Events” section of the library home page is regularly updated and includes information about special events, exhibitions, and workshops. Be sure to check our events listings regularly. The Graduate Student Newsletter also includes information on these and other events and is  delivered right to your mailbox!

Workshops held by the libraries range from learning ways to add to your citation and research management skills to conducting archival research. Digital scholarship workshops are offered by our Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship. Regular workshops include beginner and intermediate sessions for building your professional web presence, how to use geographical information systems, working with data and statistics, and text mining. You can register for workshops using the Hesburgh Libraries Workshop Calendar: http://nd.libcal.com/calendar/allworkshops/?cid=447&t=m&d=0000-00-00&cal=447

If you’re not sure where to start, you can reach out to the Graduate Student Services librarian, Mandy Havert – mhavert@nd.edu, to ask questions and receive some tips on how to get the most out of  the Hesburgh Libraries. Mandy will fill you in on regular events, such as our weeklong Dissertation Camps, and regularly scheduled Dissertation Day Camps.

 

Grad Life Program Highlight: GO Grants

Have you and your grad student friends ever wanted to go to an event, but couldn’t quite bring yourselves to fork over the cash to pay for it? Next time, Grad Life may be able to help!

One of Grad Life’s ongoing programs is the GO Grant program, sponsored by the Notre Dame Graduate School. Groups of current Notre Dame graduate students and post-docs (and their guests) can apply for a GO Grant to help cover the cost of tickets or entrance fees to events around Michiana. If you have a group of six to twelve graduate students (and up to one guest for each student) collectively coming from at least two different academic departments, you’re eligible to apply for up to $300.00 per group to help subsidize the cost of the event you have in mind. This program is meant to support graduate student participation in local events in order to promote well-being and foster community.

All you have to do is fill out a short online application with a description of the event and a brief argument for why your group should receive funding for it. Eligibility requirements and other policies are spelled out in full on the Grad Life website, but here are the basics.

  • The money can only be used to cover the cost of tickets or entrance fees to one-time events – it is not for covering the cost of food, beverages, alcohol, transportation, recurring classes, etc.
  • Submit your application at least one week ahead of time, since every participant will need to fill out and submit a waiver form.
  • It’s okay if the total cost of the event will exceed $300 – you can use the GO Grant as a subsidy.
  • No applicant or attendee may be the beneficiary of a GO Grant more than once a semester. If you were part of a group that received a GO Grant in January, you can’t be part of a group that receives a grant for the rest of the spring. Check the website for specific dates.
  • Only adults (over 18) are eligible to receive funding.
  • Afterwards, your group will need to submit your receipts, a short survey, and a photo of the group at the event in order to receive reimbursement.

It’s as simple as that! So next time you and your friends feel like fleeing the library and getting some recreation, you can think less about cash and more about fun. Apply now!

Reflections on the Graduate Student Lounge

As I write, rain is pouring down outside. The weather has reached 60 degrees, the first sure sign that winter is coming to an end. I expect that the cold will return, but the seasons are surely turning. All of this water will soon swell into blossom on trees across campus and the arc of the Sun across the sky will slowly expand and render the days mild and warm once more.

More good news: the new Graduate Student Lounge in Duncan Student Center is now a frequent haunt of the reclusive and perpetually-working graduate student. It has become something of a natural habitat for this strange species, thanks mainly to large windows, comfy chairs, and an abundance of one of its primary sources of energy: coffee (to say nothing of peanut butter sandwiches). Time has certainly confirmed my opinion that the Lounge is the best space in Duncan – there is just something about the sunlit ambience, the colors of the furnishings, and the smell of coffee brewing that makes it possible to rest, even while studying.

The space is far from perfect, of course. At lunchtime and after five o’clock, fitness classes begin in the gym directly above. All of the electric outlets are now functional, though the lockers remain half-assembled. And yes, the occasional stray (or unscrupulous) undergraduate does make off with a peanut butter sandwich.

All in all, however, the Lounge is a pleasant place. Importantly, it is our place – not a home, perhaps, but a space nevertheless to which we belong.

Welcome.

Grad Life Moves to Duncan Student Center

Grad Life’s New Home and the Graduate Student Lounge

As winter break comes to a close, I’d like to invite you on Grad Life’s behalf to visit us in our new space on the south side of the Duncan Student Center’s second floor. Over winter break, Grad Life moved from a small space in the back rooms of the Main Building to a brand new office overlooking Legends and the Stadium Lot. This office is the new home of both Grad Life and the GSU.

Our office also looks into a stupendous lounge intended just for graduate students! The lounge, arguably the best spot in Duncan, has a wall of windows facing DeBartolo Hall and is filled with comfortable couches and chairs (including two rockers!) and tables for studying. There are also a number of day lockers, as well as a small kitchen area for graduate student use, which includes a sink, microwaves, free coffee, and, in case you forgot your lunch, supplies for making peanut butter sandwiches. The lounge’s conference room will also soon be available for reservation.

You can come check out the new lounge and our office during the official Duncan Student Center Open House on Monday, January 15, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. For more information on Duncan, see the university press release regarding its grand opening.

Smith Center for Recreational Sports

One of the new student center’s star attractions is the Smith Center for Recreational Sports, which will be fully operational on January 15. The entrance to the Smith Center is on the third floor, but is only accessible from the stairwell and elevators on the north side of Duncan. Upon entering, you’ll find yourself on the main floor of the Center, among dozens of state-of-the-art treadmills, ellipticals, and other cardio machines, most of them with individual monitors. On either end of the long room, you will also find fitness and personal training rooms, a basketball court, locker rooms, weight machines, a free weight area, and the SYNRGY 360 system, which amounts to an adult jungle gym with TRX resistance-training capabilities.

On the fourth floor, accessible from two stairwells inside the Smith Center, there is a 1/6 mile track with areas for stretching and numerous additional cardio machines and lockers, as well as another jungle-gym type apparatus. The Smith Center also boasts a climbing wall and a bouldering wall, both of which can be reached by a separate entrance on the second floor of Duncan.

There is much more to see in the new student center, however, so come take a look for yourself.