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The h-index in Australian Astronomy

By Kevin A. Pimbblet

Abstract

The Hirsch (2005) h-index is now widely used as a metric to compare individual researchers. To evaluate it in the context of Australian Astronomy, the h-index for every member of the Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) is found using NASA's Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services (ADS). Percentiles of the h-index distribution are detailed for a variety of categories of ASA members, including students. This enables a list of the top ten Australian researchers by h-index to be produced. These top researchers have h-index values in the range 53<h<77, which is less than that recently reported for the American Astronomical Society Membership. We suggest that membership of extremely large consortia such as SDSS may partially explain the difference. We further suggest that many student ASA members with large h-index values have probably already received their Ph.D.'s and need to upgrade their ASA membership status. To attempt to specify the h-index distribution relative to opportunity, we also detail the percentiles of its distribution by years since Ph.D. award date. This shows a steady increase in h-index with seniority, as can be expected.Comment: Accepted for publication in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australi

Topics: Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics, Computer Science - Digital Libraries, Physics - Physics and Society
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1071/AS11002
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1103.3130
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