Why the h-index is little use
I’m continually surprised how popular the h-index is becoming. This post is a reiteration of something I noted in an earlier post: it appears that for most scientists, the h-index can be computed to a good approximation from the formula:
h ~ sqrt(T) / 2,
where T is the total number of citations the scientist. Thus the h-index contains little information beyond the total number of citations, and is not properly regarded as a new measure of impact at all. The earlier post contains additional details, including some caveats, and comments on possible further improvements to this rule. It really needs a detailed study, but I don’t think the basic point is in doubt.