Sometimes the impact factor outshines the H index

Johannes Honekopp, Janet Kleber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Journal impact factor (which reflects a particular journal's quality) and H index (which reflects the number and quality of an author's publications) are two measures of research quality. It has been argued that the H index outperforms the impact factor for evaluation purposes. Using articles first-authored or last-authored by board members of Retrovirology, we show here that the reverse is true when the future success of an article is to be predicted. The H index proved unsuitable for this specific task because, surprisingly, an article's odds of becoming a 'hit' appear independent of the pre-eminence of its author. We discuss implications for the peer-review process.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number88
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


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