Reflections on norms for the h-index and related indices

Ever since Publish or Perish has been available, academics have asked me for "norm scores" for the various indices. I guess everyone likes to compare himself or herself to see how they are doing. I have always hesitated to do this as these scores are so easily taken out of context and can take on a life of their own.

norm scores

However, most publications discussing the h-index and related indices deal with academics in the (Natural) Sciences. There are large differences in research output between the different disciplines (see Reflections on the h-index and Citation Analysis Across Disciplines). H-indices in the Natural Sciences are much higher than in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Hence, I felt that in order to support academics in the Social Sciences and Humanities it would be appropriate to provide some systematic evidence that lower citation indices can be expected in these disciplines.

Norm scores for Management and International Business

A calculation of citation metrics for an individual academic requires one to be at least familiar with the field in question (in order to be able to eliminate publications by authors with similar names) and preferably with the individual’s work. Therefore, my "norm scores" only pertain to the two fields that I am familiar with: Management and International Business.

In 2007 I therefore published a white paper with an analysis of citation metrics for Academy of Management and Academy of International Business Presidents. As norm scores do get out of date quickly, I presented an update in 2013 and again in 2016. The results can be found in Reflections on norms for the h-index and related indices