A new indicator, a real valued $s$-index, is suggested to characterize a quality and impact of the scientific research output. It is expected to be at least as useful as the notorious $h$-index, at the same time avoiding some its obvious drawbacks. However, surprisingly, the $h$-index is found to be quite a good indicator for majority of real-life citation data with their alleged Zipfian behaviour for which these drawbacks do not show up. The style of the paper was chosen deliberately somewhat frivolous to indicate that any attempt to characterize the scientific output of a researcher by just one number always has an element of a grotesque game in it and should not be taken too seriously. I hope this frivolous style will be perceived as a funny decoration only.
- Pub Date:
- May 2009
- Physics - Physics and Society;
- Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics;
- Computer Science - Digital Libraries
- 9 pages, 3 figures, significantly changed, version to by published in Acta Phys. Polon. B