A lot of research is continuously happening around us. While the word research seems fascinating to most of us, we seldom know how impactful the research is or how the actual impact of any research is measured. While there are many techniques for adjudging researchers, journals, and research papers, none is absolute.

There are four main ways that google scholar uses to rate a researcher. These are papers, citations, h-index, and i-10 index. Papers mean the number of research papers published by a researcher. More number of papers would mean a higher volume of research. Citations are the number of times the given research paper is cited or referenced in other papers. Usually, more the number of citations, better is the valuation of that research paper.

A researcher’s number of citations is the summed number of citations of all his research papers. A good citation number not only depends on the research field but also on the region. In 2005, statistician JE Hersch defined h-index (after his name Hersch) to provide “an estimate of the importance, significance, and broad impact of a scientist’s cumulative research contributions.” It gives an excellent estimate of the research going on in the given field. While a single good paper with a large number of citations means that the quality of research is impeccable, though the number needs to increase, a large number of research papers with low citations mean that lot of mediocre, low bearing research is going on. Hersch combined both of these and put forward the concept of the Hersch index. While the actual h-index definition might be very complicated, it merely means the number of papers with citations more than the number of papers one has published. An h-index of 40 means out of n papers the researcher has published, 40 have more than n citations. A score of 40 after 40 years of age would mean good research. It is so good a measure that an h-index of 80 would mean exceptional research, and more than 80% of noble laureates in Chemistry and Physics have an h-index at around 80.

Finally, the i-10 index is another criterion used by Google, which means the number of research papers with citations more than 10. A scientific journal is rated based on the impact factor. The impact factor is a measure of the frequency of average citations of an article in a journal in a particular year. It measures the importance or rank of a journal by calculating the citations of articles. Two of the highest impact journals are Science and Nature. With over twelve thousand journals, the average impact factor of a scientific journal is less than one. More than three is considered a good, and an impact factor of over ten is exceptional. Nature and Science lead this list with an impact factor of 42.778 and 41.778, respectively.

However, similar to chess ratings, none of these is absolute. These are all based on other research, region, and recognition. These measure the research about its relevance in contemporary time and industry requirements.