There are quite a few professors at my school that do not have a Google Scholar profile at all. I may search them in Google Scholar's search engine and hope their most recent papers come up, but I am not able to access their h-index or any of the other metrics supplied by Google Scholar. If I search a paper by them, I can see it listed, but the author's name is not underlined and it doesn't seem as though they have a profile.

Microsoft Academic seems to create "profiles" for people and then allow them to claim it, letting others at least view data about the person in question even if they have not created an account. Is there any way to do this with Google Scholar?

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    Regarding creating public profiles for people who don't have one, see this. If you just want to calculate someone's H-index other databases like Web of Science exist.
    – Anyon
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


No, finding the H-index from Google Scholar of someone else who does not have a profile does not seem to be possible. While I could not find a source that confirms this, there is no mention of such an option in the help pages of Google Scholar, and the wording strongly suggests that seeing those metrics at an individual author level are one of the benefits of creating a profile.

From this page (emphasis mine):

Google Scholar Citations provide a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it may appear in Google Scholar results when people search for your name, e.g., richard feynman.

However, a few relevant notes:

  1. A profile may exist and be public, but may not be searchable. A profile, even if public, needs to have a verified institutional email address added in order to appear in the search results. To account for such a scenario, you could check if you can find a link from elsewhere, such as the researcher's web page, or from the "Co-authors" list in the profile of one of their co-authors.

  2. To just search by author, you can filter your results better by using the author: operator or using Advanced search.

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    One important issue is that without a profile, you don't have any reliable way of determining which of the many publications by John A. Smith in Google Scholar are publications by the John A. Smith that you're interested in. Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 21:26
  • @BrianBorchers that's true but the chance that there are 2 John A. Smith's in the same department in the same university is almost 0. Google, with all their researchers, should also be able to scrape the data off their robots crawling people's CVs Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 21:35

Supposing the person has a fairly unique name (within their discipline), you can search for the name. Google scholar will typically start with the highest cited papers first, more-or-less. Then you can count papers they are an author of. When this count matches the number of citations a paper of theirs has, you have the h-index, up to an unknown error margin. If the count of papers exceeds the number of citations, subtract one to get the h-index. Check the next few publications in case some of them are more highly cited than the immediately previous ones for a bit of extra accuracy.

Note that if you only take a look at a subset of papers authored by a researcher, you get a lower bound on the h-index. This method gives you such a lower bound.

Since h-index is fairly robust to missing single papers or having a few extra ones, supposing the person publishes under a single name that Google finds and you do not confuse them with a productive researcher with the same name, you should get a fairly accurate number.

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