Comparison of the h-Index Scores Among Pathogens Identified as Emerging Hazards in North America

R. Cox, K. M. Mcintyre, J. Sanchez, C. Setzkorn, M. Baylis, C. W. Revie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Disease surveillance must assess the relative importance of pathogen hazards. Here, we use the Hirsch index (h-index) as a novel method to identify and rank infectious pathogens that are likely to be a hazard to human health in the North American region. This bibliometric index was developed to quantify an individual's scientific research output and was recently used as a proxy measure for pathogen impact. Analysis of more than 3000 infectious organisms indicated that 651 were human pathogen species that had been recorded in the North American region. The h-index of these pathogens ranged from 0 to 584. The h-index of emerging pathogens was greater than non-emerging pathogens as was the h-index of frequently pathogenic pathogens when compared to non-pathogenic pathogens. As expected, the h-index of pathogens varied over time between 1960 and 2011. We discuss how the h-index can contribute to pathogen prioritization and as an indicator of pathogen emergence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-91
Number of pages13
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • bibliometric
  • h-index
  • pathogen emergence
  • pathogen hazard
  • pathogen prioritization


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