Purpose – The purpose of this conceptual paper is to present a simple, novel method for excluding self‐citation from h ‐index values – the b ‐index. Design/methodology/approach – The work described assumes that relative self‐citation rate is constant across an author's publications and that the citation profile of a set of papers follows a Zipfian distribution, and from this derives a simple mathematical expression for excluding self‐citation from h ‐index values. Findings – It is shown that this new index is simply equal to the integer value of the author's external citation rate (non‐self‐citations) to the power three quarters, multiplied by their h ‐index. This value, called the b ‐index, does not require an extensive analysis of the self‐citation rates of individual papers to produce, and appropriately shows the biggest numerical decreases, as compared to the corresponding h ‐index, for very high self‐citers. Practical implications – The method presented allows the user to assess quickly and simply the effects of self‐citation on an author's h ‐index. Originality/value – This paper provides a simple and novel method for excluding self‐citation from the h ‐index and should be of interest to those interested in bibliometrics and databases of scientific literature.
Online Information Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 27, 2009
Keywords: Referencing; Serials; Publications; Peer‐review