The Hirsch index is a number that synthesizes a researcher’s output. It is defined as the maximum number h such that the researcher has h papers with at least h citations each. Two axiomatic characterizations of this index are suggested. One of them provides a simple conceptualization of the Hirsch index: after selecting those outputs deserving index 1, the Hirsch index of any other output x is the minimum value of a two-part decomposition of x.
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