Recenty, Google Scholar released an update allowing authors to take ownership of their publications and group multiple instances of the same publication together. It logs citations to papers and thus can calculate an ‘h-index’ along the lines of those used by Scopus and Web of Science. This is really good because i) it’s free and ii) it doesn’t just log citations by journal articles, but also books, PhD theses, and other online materials of an academic flavour. It doesn’t always get right, but hell, neither does Scopus.
Here’s my page. It was easy as falling off a log to find my publications and get them organised. My h-index is 2 higher on scholar than Scopus because of badly formatted citations not being caught by Scopus’ algorithm, and because of citations by non-counted sources in Scopus. Obviously I’m pleased about this! Taking into account a wider range of citing materials is a positive for alternative metrics.
The added bonus for authors is that by taking ownership of their publications, Google is more strongly associating authors with their work. Thus authors’ work will be found more readily and read and used (and cited if it’s any good) more often by people searching google for information. Other than the obvious concerns about Google’s monopoly over the whole of the universe, this is pretty handy.