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Quantifying Scholarly Impact: IQp versus the Hirsch h
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Hirsch's (2005) h index of scholarly output has generated substantial interest and wide acceptance because of its apparent ability to quantify scholarly impact simply and accurately. We show that the excitement surrounding h is premature for three reasons: h stagnates with increasing scientific age; it is highly dependent on publication quantity as well as field-specific citation rates. Thus, it is not useful for comparing scholars across disciplines. We propose the scholarly Index of Quality and Productivity (IQp) as an alternative to h. The new index takes into account a scholar's total impact and also corrects for field-specific citation rates, scholarly productivity, and scientific age. The IQp accurately predicts group membership on a common metric, as tested on a sample of 80 scholars from three populations: (a) Nobel winners in Physics (n=10), Chemistry (n=10), Medicine (n=10), and Economics (n=10), and towering Psychologists (n=10), and scholars who have made more modest contributions to science including randomly selected (b) fellows (n=15) and (c) members (n=15) of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The IQp also correlates better with expert ratings of greatness than does the h index.
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