Scientific impact evaluation and the effect of self-citations: mitigating the bias by discounting h-index

E Ferrara, and AE Romero.
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(11):2332–2339 (2013).

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In this paper, we propose a measure to assess scientific impact that discounts self-citations and does not require any prior knowledge on the their distribution among publications. This index can be applied to both researchers and journals. In particular, we show that it fills the gap of h-index and similar measures that do not take into account the effect of self-citations for authors or journals impact evaluation.

The paper provides with two real-world examples: in the former, we evaluate the research impact of the most productive scholars in Computer Science (according to DBLP); in the latter, we revisit the impact of the journals ranked in the “Computer Science Applications” section of SCImago.

We observe how self-citations, in many cases, affect the rankings obtained according to different measures (including h-index and ch-index), and show how the proposed measure mitigates this effect.