Here is a pretty good explanation with example.
In the below example, an author has 8 papers that have been cited 33, 30, 20, 15, 7, 6, 5 and 4 times. This tells us that the author’s h-index is 6.
What does an h-index of 6 mean?
- An h-index of 6 means that this author has published at least 6 papers that have each received at least 6 citations.
- The first paper has been cited 33 times, and gives us a 1 (there is one paper that has been cited at least once).
- The second paper has been cited 30 times, and gives us a 2 (there are two papers that have been cited at least twice).
- The third paper gives us a 3 and all the way up to 6 with the sixth highest paper.
- The final two papers have no effect in this case as they have been cited less than six times (Ireland, MacDonald & Stirling, 2013).