Add h-index to the basic stats

Dear all,

I am found of stats and figures. Dealing with umbrella-projects with hundreds of involved people, I came across situation, when basic stats do not reflect clearly the depth of the project and its community. In many cases, high number of observations is a result of a single person efforts, whereas large number of observers do not necessarily leads to big bang of data.

In science, the h-index ( is widely used to evaluate global contribution of a scientist (or of a group). The index is based on the set of the scientist’s most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other publications. For the iNat collection and umbrella projects, h-index could be the function of a descending list of top-observers based on the number of observations or (and) species.

For instance, in h-index is 86 (for observations) and 45 (for species).

In umbrella, overall h-index is 150 (for observations) and 133 (for species). Within this project, the highest h-index (for observations) got regional collection project (43), which is not a leader either in species, observers or observations. The index shows adequately the most active general community of observers not influenced by the activity of leaders or a heap of dormant accounts.

It is also possible to use h-index for observers based on personal species list sorted in descendent order by the number of observations.

Hi @apseregin. I just came across this suggestion and I want to make sure I correctly understand how you’re calculating the metric.

For the example you gave of the Caterpillars of Eastern North America project, you say the h-index at the time was “86 (for observations) and 45 (for species)”.

I assume this means that in August 2019, the 86th most prolific observer had 86 caterpillar observations in the project and that the 45th most prolific observer of different species had observed 45 species. If I’m calculating that right, then the current h-index values for that project are 109 for observations and 53 for species.

I’m curious about where those h-index values would appear. They could certainly be displayed on the Basic Stats for a project, but that doesn’t seem to exploit the core function of the h-index, which is to allow numerical comparison across authors (in its traditional form) or projects (in your proposal).

It seems the main value of calculating an h-index would be to add a couple new options to the Leaderboard for umbrella projects: “Sort by: observation h-index” and “Sort by: species h-index”. Is that what you were proposing?


Yes, you are right in calculations.

The main advantage of the index is to compare collection projects within umbrellas. We have huge umbrella “Flora of Russia”, where projects are equalling provinces of the country. This index could be helpful in correct understanding of the community depth within each region. Certainly, it could be also employed in CNC and minor team bioblitzes. Thanks for paying attention on this idea which was neglected for months.