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My h-index is 16

June 5, 2012

(After a long period of inactivity I have decided to resurrect this blog. Some of the reasons are obvious: free time, having trouble giving up a hobby, OA is heating up again and more importantly, the need to keep notes and thoughts in one location. I hope to continue blogging often if not as vigorously as before.)

Watching GoogleScholar progress the past few months, I decided to try building my profile page. After little effort I found my h-index to be 16. Since moving away from my academic career in summer of 1997, I ceased publishing in research journals – one exception was my letter in Science mag in 2003.


As other people have noted GS has really matured and so it made sense trying to build my own profile. And that is true. Except for a couple of duplicates in a list of 48, everything appears correct. I do recall being a coauthor on 8-10 one-page long abstracts and a book chapter and they are missing from this list.

There is another purpose too.

Having come from a southern part of India, like a number of researchers, I have not been immune to the author name ambiguity. Like many, I started off my research career publishing with my middle name and so a number of my citations ended up with “A Babu” as author. Halfway through the research career as the name ambiguity became a problem (more in my personal life) I decided to start publishing with my family name (hence “A B Akella”). (Have a laugh). The GS profile is an opportunity to list my academic output all in one place.

Back to the h-index. Although I am no longer in academic research, knowing of citations to the past work provides satisfaction that the work has some validity. So what else is the profile good for. I don’t know. Perhaps noticeable by some potential employer, who can tell. Also, as the saying goes, some beautiful things in life are free and GoogleScholar is one of them.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alison Taylor permalink
    June 8, 2012 9:32 pm

    So, you tempted me to look at my own profile. Surprisingly, I have an h-index of three! I say surprisingly because Google found things I’d forgotten about. Even more surprisingly, my ‘pride and joy’ article has nineteen citations! Amazing!!
    Seems I found similar value as you in this–suddenly I feel my research was worthwhile!

    • Aravind Akella permalink*
      June 13, 2012 2:11 am

      Alison, great. Now you can see why I love Google Scholar. It has a lot of potential. I don’t mean to endorse everything Google does. Google Scholar is a great service to the academic community. Microsoft’s Academic Search, a late entry, has a better user interface but the database seem so incomplete. My one question to Anurag Acharya, if I ever run into him, is why GS interface still beta (that has been the case since 2004!). Hopefully they will soon find a revenue generating mechanism so the Google Scholar can go live.

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