The Hirsch index applied to topics of interest to developing countries



This article deals with an application of the h-index for topics. The h-index as defined by Hirsch is the number h such that, for a general group of papers, h papers received at least h citations while the other papers received no more than h citations. This definition has been extended by Banks to apply to topics. In this article the Web of Science, Google Scholar and Exalead are used to determine h-indices for topics of interest to developing countries. It is shown that there are important differences between searches performed in a specialized database (here the Web of Science) and the public, freely available, Web. It is further shown that country rankings for articles in the Web of Science and Google Scholar may show huge differences. Correlation coefficients between Google Scholar article rankings and Exalead website rankings are generally higher than between the Web of science and Exalead.

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