The h index: overvaluation of its use in the assessment of the impact of scientific work in Mexico

Keywords: index h, ħ, hα, cites, new knowledge, scientif ic impact, assessment, uses an application


To judge the impact and relevance of the results of the scientif ic work, the researchers are subjected to evaluation processes that involve records of publications and the corresponding citations. For this purpose, some index has been developed. Among them, the index proposed by Hirsch are considered in most evaluation processes. The analysis developed here concludes that the h-index does not measure the relative contribution of a researcher in publications, especially in those that are generated by groups of between 80 and 700 authors. Likewise, the aforementioned index does not consider book publications, nor the contribution of a researcher in the formation of human resources, nor the formation of scientif ic groups or societies. Nor does the h index value contributions in technological innovation, in the dissemination of scientif ic knowledge. In a relevant way, it must be emphasized that the h index does not take into account the contribution of a specif ic researcher to the establishment of public policies generated through scientif ic research, which can be strategic and of local, regional and even national relevance. Assessing the work of a researcher based primarily on its h-index is not only limited and unfair, but it is severely distorting the priorities of the new generations of scientists in Mexico. Scientists must not forget that we are subsidized with public resources, which leads to not only being widely cited at the international level, but also to contribute to the formation of human resources, to the resolution of local and national problems, to influence the generation of Public Policies and in the social appropriation of knowledge. Therefore, the need to manage a system that considers these aspects is essential in order to evaluate the possible impact of the work of each researcher.

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