Will This Paper Increase Your h-index? Scientific Impact Prediction

Y. Dong, R. Johnson, and N. V. Chawla
Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Web Science and Data Mining (ACM WSDM)
Publication Date: 
February, 2015

Scientific impact plays a central role in the evaluation of the output
of scholars, departments, and institutions. A widely used measure
of scientific impact is citations, with a growing body of literature
focused on predicting the number of citations obtained by any
given publication. The effectiveness of such predictions, however,
is fundamentally limited by the power-law distribution of citations,
whereby publications with few citations are extremely common and
publications with many citations are relatively rare. Given this limitation,
in this work we instead address a related question asked
by many academic researchers in the course of writing a paper,
namely: “Will this paper increase my h-index?” Using a real academic
dataset with over 1.7 million authors, 2 million papers, and
8 million citation relationships from the premier online academic
service ArnetMiner, we formalize a novel scientific impact prediction
problem to examine several factors that can drive a paper to
increase the primary author’s h-index. We find that the researcher’s
authority on the publication topic and the venue in which the paper
is published are crucial factors to the increase of the primary
author’s h-index, while the topic popularity and the co-authors’ hindices
are of surprisingly little relevance. By leveraging relevant
factors, we find a greater than 87.5% potential predictability for
whether a paper will contribute to an author’s h-index within five
years. As a further experiment, we generate a self-prediction for
this paper, estimating that there is a 76% probability that it will
contribute to the h-index of the co-author with the highest current
h-index in five years. We conclude that our findings on the quantification
of scientific impact can help researchers to expand their
influence and more effectively leverage their position of “standing
on the shoulders of giants.”