An entropy-based measure for the evolution of h index research

Deming Lin*, Tianhui Gong, Wenbin Liu, Martin Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The h index has been comprehensively developed and diffusely applied following its initial proposal in 2005 by Jorge Hirsch. However, while the numbers of papers and authors measured continue to grow, it is not known whether such increases in quantity mean that the research itself is advancing. Accordingly, the present study sets out to establish an analysis method, based on the concept of entropy, with which to elucidate the evolution of the h index. The results suggest that there are four stages, as follows: the emerging stage, the preliminary growth stage, the real growth stage, and the maturity stage. Meanwhile, the research of the h index is found to be in flux, and it is concluded that further development of the metric will require profound theoretical achievements as well as embedded innovation, or else the evolution of the h index will decline following a shortened maturity stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2283-2298
Number of pages17
Early online date10 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

This study was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China. The authors acknowledge with gratitude the comments and suggestions of anonymous reviewers and the editors, who provide significant contributions to this article.


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