PoP 8 new features (3): New metric hA index

Week 3 of a weekly announcement of new features of Publish or Perish version 8

On the 1st of November 2021, nearly exactly 15 years after first launching Publish or Perish, we released version 8 of the software. After two months of "soft launch", we are now ready to publicise its new features. To do so, I will post about a new feature every Thursday. If you want a complete overview have a look at this blogpost: Publish or Perish version 8.

Hardly a month goes by without a new metric being suggested in the bibliometrics literature. We therefore don’t introduce new metrics lightly in Publish or Perish. In Publish or Perish 7 we introduced the ACC [annual citation count] metric listing the number of papers with at least 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 citations per year.

In Publish or Perish 8, we introduced a new metric correcting for the age of the paper: the hA index. Created by Yves Fassin and published in the ISSI newsletter, this is a h-index with paper citations corrected by the year of publication. Details of its calculation can be found here, but in short it is the largest number of papers in the dataset that have obtained at least hA citations per year on average.

In contrast to the Publish or Perish hIa index, introduced by Harzing, Alakangas and Adams, which divides the (individual) h-index by the total number of years in the data-set, the hA index divides the citation count of each paper by the age of that paper. The hA index can easily be verified manually by sorting the results in Publish or Perish on the citations per year column (see illustration).

Illustration of the hA index

My hA index in Google Scholar is 26, which means I have 26 publications that have at least 26 citations per year. For my hA index to increase to 27, my 2015 publication Why and how does shared language affect subsidiary knowledge inflows in Journal of International Business Studies would need to increase its citations to an average of 27 citations per year.

For it to increase to 28, not only would my 2001 publication in Human Resource Management Who's in charge? need to increase its citations to an average of 28 per years, but the five preceding publications would also need to increase their citations to this same average.

The number of citations per year will decline naturally with each passing year if citations do not accrue at the same rate as before. Hence, the growth of a scholar's hA index typically declines of time and reaches a plateau for most mature scholars. Even maintaining a high hA index is not easy and is a mark of sustained scholarly impact.

Note: The metrics pane was simplified in earlier Publish or Perish versions as many users were confused by the many unfamiliar metrics. However, all metrics that were ever included in Publish or Perish are still available in the exported results. Hence, you can continue any longitudinal research projects that use these metrics.

Download Publish or Perish version 8

You can download the latest version of Publish or Perish from the following pages:

Related blogposts

Support Publish or Perish

Development of the Publish or Perish software is a volunteering effort that has been ongoing since 2006, regularly adding new features and data sources and expanding use cases and geographical distribution.

To keep Publish or Perish free (gratis) for everyone, your contribution toward our costs of hosting, bandwidth, and software development is appreciated. If you find Publish or Perish useful, then this is your chance to say "thank you" to the developers.

You can support us by buying the Publish or Perish guide or tutorial and/or through a donation. Only one user out of every five thousand contributes (that is, only 0.02% of all users!), so any support is very welcome indeed. For more detail see: Support Publish or Perish.

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Publish or Perish tutorial (2016) GBP 2.99

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