The purpose of this paper is to reveal the limitations of h-index in assessing research performance through citation analysis and suggest two new indexes called prime index (P-index) and value added index (V-index), which are simpler to compute than g-index and more informative. For more serious research performance evaluation, analytic hierarchy process (AHP) methodology is proposed.Design/methodology/approachThe methodology adopted is to compare existing indexes for citation-based research assessment and identify their limitations, particularly the h-index, which is most commonly employed. It gives advantages of g-index over h-index and then proposes P-index which is simpler to compute than g-index but is more powerful in information content than g-index. Another V-index is proposed on a similar philosophy as P-index by considering total number of citations/author. For serious evaluation of finite candidates for awards/recognitions, a seven-criteria-based AHP is proposed. All new approaches have been illustrated by drawing raw data from Google scholar-powered website H-POP.FindingsThis paper demonstrates over-hype about use of h-index over g-index. However, it shows that newly proposed P-index is much simpler in computation than g but better than g-index. V-index is a quick way to ascertain the value added by a research scientist in multiple-authored research papers. P-index gives a value 3–4 percent higher than g and it is holistic index as it uses complete data of citations. AHP is a very powerful multi-criteria approach and it also shows g-index to be a more important factor, whereas h-index is the least important but frequently used approach. It is hoped that the findings of this paper will help in rectifying the misplaced emphasis on h-index alone.Research limitations/implicationsThe research focus has been to suggest new faster, better methods of research assessment. However, a detailed comparison of all existing approaches with the new approaches will call for testing these over a large number of data sets. Its limitation is that it has tested the approaches on 5 academics for illustrating AHP and 20 researchers for comparing new indexes with some of the existing indexes. All existing indexes are also not covered.Practical implicationsThe outcomes of this research may have major practical applications for research assessment of academics/researchers and rectify the imbalance in assessment by reducing over-hype on h-index. For more serious evaluation of research performance of academics, the seven-criteria AHP approach will be more comprehensive and holistic in comparison with a single criterion citation metric. One hopes that the findings of this paper will receive much attention/debate.Social implicationsResearch assessment based on proposed approaches is likely to lead to greater satisfaction among those evaluated and higher confidence in the evaluation criteria.Originality/valueP- and V-indexes are original. Application of AHP for multi-criteria assessment of research through citation analysis is also a new idea.
Journal of Advances in Management Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 14, 2020
Keywords: AHP; H-index; Citation analysis; G-index; I-10 index