This paper aims to evaluate some of the known scientific indexes by using virtual data and proposes a new index, named multiple h-index (mh-index), for removing the limits of these variants.
Citation report for 40 researchers in Babol, Iran, was extracted from the Web of Science and entered in a checklist together with their scientific lifetimes and published ages of their papers. Some statistical analyses, especially exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and structural correlations, were done in SPSS 19.
EFA revealed three factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 and explained variance of over 96 per cent in the studied indexes, including the mh-index. Factors 1, 2 and 3 explained 44.38, 28.19 and 23.48 of the variance in the correlation coefficient matrix, respectively. The m-index (with coefficient of 90 per cent) in Factor 1, a-index (with coefficient of 91 per cent) in Factor 2 and h- and h2-indexes (with coefficients of 93 per cent) in Factor 3 had the highest factor loadings. Correlation coefficients and related comparative diagrams showed that the mh-index is more accurate than the other nine variants in differentiating the scientific impact of researchers with the same h-index.
As the studied variants could not satisfy all limits of the h-index, scientific society needs an index which accurately evaluates individual researcher’s scientific output. As the mh-index has some advantages over the other studied variants, it can be an appropriate alternative for them.
The authors would like to thank Dr Evangeline Foronda for English editing and proofreading this manuscript.
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