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The pros and cons of computing the h‐index using Google Scholar

Pe´ter Jacso´ (University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




A previous paper by the present author described the pros and cons of using the three largest cited reference enhanced multidisciplinary databases and discussed and illustrated in general how the theoretically sound idea of the h‐index may become distorted depending on the software and the content of the database(s) used, and the searchers' skill and knowledge of the database features. The aim of this paper is to focus on Google Scholar (GS), from the perspective of calculating the h‐index for individuals and journals.


A desk‐based approach to data collection is used and critical commentary is added.


The paper shows that effective corroboration of the h‐index and its two component indicators can be done only on persons and journals with which a researcher is intimately familiar. Corroborative tests must be done in every database for important research.


The paper highlights the very time‐consuming process of corroborating data, tracing and counting valid citations and points out GS's unscholarly and irresponsible handling of data.



Jacso´, P. (2008), "The pros and cons of computing the h‐index using Google Scholar", Online Information Review, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 437-452.



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