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University of Wyoming - Libraries

Legal Scholar Publishing


The h-index is an attempt to measure a scholar's impact in his or her field using both productivity and citations.  To determine the h-index, count the number of articles a scholar has published and record the number of times each of the articles has been cited.  Arrange the articles in order from the most frequently cited to the least often cited.  Counting from the end of publications most frequently cited, move right until the number of times an article is published is less than the position of the publication in the line-up.  For instance, let's say an author has published six articles (A, B, C, D, E, F) and they have been cited 13, 10, 8, 8, 3, 2 times.  A is assigned to the article that is most frequently cited (A=13). B is the second most frequently cited article (B=10).  Ultimately the articles and citations are arranged as:

A=13, B=10, C=8, D=8, E=3, F=2.

Next count down the publication numbers until the number of citations is less than the position of the article.  A is the first article (1 is less than the thirteen citations it has earned; B is the second article (2 is less than the ten citations it has earned), C is the third article (3 is less than the eight citations it has earned; D is the fourth article (4 is less than the eight citations it has earned; E is the fifth article, but five is greater than the three citations it has earned.  This fifth article will not count at this time, and so the fourth article is the last that will count towards the scholars index number, giving the author an h-index of 4. 



Google Scholar and i10-index

Scholars may choose to set up an account in Google Scholar.  Google Scholar provides options to automatically add articles or to manually add content.  Scholar metrics are collected automatically, including h-index and h5-index (collecting statistics from the most recent five years).  Caution:  Google Scholar is collecting statistics only on those articles that it has located and indexed.  This will not be comprehensive for most legal scholars.

Google Scholar also uses an i10-index which counts the number of publications that have been cited to more than ten times.

SSRN and bePress Citations

SSRN and bePress offer other means to measure scholarly impact.  These services use download counts rather than citation figures to gauge the usefulness of published articles.  Both SSRN and bePress maintain regular download counts and comparison data.  Some self-archiving repositories, such as, allow scholars to link out to their works that have been posted in SSRN or bePress so that authors may continue to collect download statistics in one location.