Does the Hirsch Index Improve Research Quality in the Field of Biomaterials? A New Perspective in the Biomedical Research Field

Maria Ulderico Saverio Affatato, Massimiliano Merola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Orthopaedic implants offer valuable solutions to many pathologies of bones and joints. The research in this field is driven by the aim of realizing durable and biocompatible devices; therefore, great effort is spent on material analysis and characterization. As a demonstration of the importance assumed by tribology in material devices, wear and friction are two of the main topics of investigation for joint prostheses. Research is led and supported by public institutions, whether
universities or research centers, based on the laboratories’ outputs. Performance criteria assessing an author’s impact on research contribute somewhat to author inflation per publication. The need to measure the research activity of an institution is an essential goal and this leads to the development of indicators capable of giving a rating to the publication that disseminates them. The main purpose of this work was to observe the variation of the Hirsch Index (h-index) when the position of the authors is considered. To this end, we conducted an analysis evaluating the h-index by excluding the intermediate positions. We found that the higher the h value, the larger the divergence between this value and the corrected one. The correction relies on excluding publications for which the author does not have a relevant position. We propose considering the authorship order in a publication in order to obtain more information on the impact that authors have on their research field. We suggest giving the users of researcher registers (e.g., Scopus, Google Scholar) the possibility to exclude from the h-index evaluation the objects of research where the scientist has a marginal position.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 13 2018


  • h-index
  • bibliometric indicators
  • biomaterials
  • quality of research
  • citations


Dive into the research topics of 'Does the Hirsch Index Improve Research Quality in the Field of Biomaterials? A New Perspective in the Biomedical Research Field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this