I don't mean in the sense of ensuring that someone correctly cites your talk when they reference it in their own work, but rather that that citation actually ends up counting towards things like your h-index. As far as I can tell, cites like Google Scholar don't crawl conference presentations, and I've not heard of a DOI being assigned for a presentation, so what can you do to help ensure that someone citing your talk will actually benefit your metrics?

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    Conference presentations don't count toward your h-index. Commented May 28 at 0:31
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    You are going to need to keep track of this yourself. But I strongly suspect that even if you keep track of it, no one is going to care that much.
    – JoshuaZ
    Commented May 28 at 0:56
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    Forget Google Scholar; are conference talks even citeable? In my observation, people only cite the proceedings (if they exist), not the talk itself.
    – user187020
    Commented May 28 at 3:33
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    @user1149748: Of course they are citeable; you can cite any source of information that exists, including "personal communication". It's true that a proceedings paper, etc, if it exists, is better to cite, because others can read it. Commented May 28 at 4:58
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-index: "The h-index is an author-level metric that measures both the productivity and citation impact of the publications, initially used for an individual scientist or scholar." A talk is not a publication. Therefore, talks cannot and should not be counted in an H-index. Commented May 28 at 4:59

2 Answers 2


Publishing a paper on the topic of the talk is the typical solution. If the talk was expository or otherwise hard to publish in a peer-reviewed venue, a preprint can work.

  • In this case, time is the issue as I intend to turn the talk I have in mind into a publication but won't be able to do so for a number of months at least, yet I was approached during the conference in question by someone who wanted to cite my work for an upcoming publication. So, I appreciate the preprint proposal, which I hadn't considered. Commented May 28 at 15:11
  • @joshisanonymous The preprint strategy is common in math. I've seen several occasions where people have sent their preprints off to arxiv one or two days before a talk just to have it on record.
    – user176372
    Commented May 28 at 15:17

Fundamentally, whoever defines a measurement system decides what counts towards their interpretation of the metrics they report, and what doesn't. "The" h-index does not exist, what exists is an h-index as measured by Google Scholar, an h-index as measured by Scopus, and so on. None of them, at least not the ones I am aware of, counts references in talks (or teaching materials, or quotes in newspapers, etc.).

If references that should be counted by the system's definition are not there are sometimes ways to rectify this, but in practice your milage may vary. In the vast majority of cases, if a reference is not included in your metrics it's either because the source is not indexed yet (and then you can only wait) or because it's not a source this system indexes on purpose (and then there is not much you can do).

This is ultimately also the reason for Google Scholar's prominence (as well as of much valid criticism) - Google Scholar indexes much more generously than other systems such as Scopus, leading to much higher (many would say inflated) h-index values across the board for almost everyone.

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