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Evaluating individual researchers’ performance

Issue: 39(2) May 2013. Essays Pages 39 – 40

Lutz Bornmann
Division for Science and Innovation Studies, Administrative Headquarters, Max Planck Society, Hofgartenstr. 8, 80539 Munich, Germany; [email protected]

Werner Marx
Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Heisenbergstraße 1, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany; [email protected]


In 2005 the h index was proposed to reflect individual researchers’ output in terms of publications and citations. However, this intergral indicator is not normalized for age and subject category, and therefore comparisons between researchers differing in academic age and professional background are impossible. To overcome the limitations of the h index, we propose alternative metrics, which are based on the percentile approach


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