H-index manipulation by undoing merges

René van Bevern, Christian Komusiewicz, Hendrik Molter, Rolf Niedermeier, Manuel Sorge, Toby Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The h-index is an important bibliographic measure used to assess the performance of researchers. Dutiful researchers merge different versions of their articles in their Google Scholar profile even though this can decrease their h-index. In this article, we study the manipulation of the h-index by undoing such merges. In contrast to manipulation by merging articles, such manipulation is harder to detect. We present numerous results on computational complexity (from linear-time algorithms to parameterized computational hardness results) and empirically indicate that at least small improvements of the h-index by splitting merged articles are unfortunately easily achievable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1552
Number of pages24
JournalQuantitative Science Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Article splitting
  • Citation graph
  • Experimental algorithmics
  • Google Scholar profiles
  • NP-hard problems
  • Parameterized complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Analysis
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Cultural Studies


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