Saturday, May 23, 2009

h-index! b-index!

Here is an article from that explain the h-index and its origin.  It’s a fun story and it's nice to know the basic formula of the h-index (h=n means you have published n articles that have been cited at least n times).

I’ve come up with a new metric, the b-index, which describes the impact of said blog.  Instead of times cited we are looking at times commented upon.   Our blog’s b-index is 6, explanation follows:

We have 32 posts so far with 23 comments going to a single post.  Stellar!  Ordering posts by high to low comment level we have the following sequence 23, 10, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5 etc.  Counting down the line we find that 6 posts have a comment level greater than or equal to six. 

Is that good?  Who knows!  But hey, it’s our index and we set the bar.


  1. funny piece Lisa, although i would not be surprised if someone already had invented the b-index... Erik, what is the b-index of your other blog Biology and politics, it must certainly be higher,no?

  2. Hej Fabrice,
    Hopefully the b-index, which is surely not an original thought, spreads like wildfire and all other contenders turn out to be wallaces to my darwin.
    I quickly b-indexed Erik's other blog focusing on the 2009 entries (54 posts) and came up with a index of 14! Way to go Erik!

  3. Fabrice & Lisa:

    Probably my "b-index" for "Biology & Politics" is very much higher, given that it has been active for a longer time and deals with more controversial topics. It has a quite high ranking on "Bloggportalen", and is among the top-10 most linked bloggs in Sweden.

    That said, however, I am always sceptical towards simple quantitative measures like h-indices etc. They are simply numbers - and are not necessarily related to "quality" (whatever that is). If somebody writes about popular topics, like human sexual selection, one will always get higher h-indices and higher citation rates than if one writes about damselflies and isopods, unfortunately. But does that mean that research on human sexual selection has higher quality than research on sexual selection on other organisms?

    Probably not...Rather the reverse, I would say.