Identification of the Olympic Powers in History using a Methodology Based on h-index and h-core

Journal of Scientometric Research,2021,10,1,94-100.
Published:May 2021
Type:Research Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Bruno Guimarães Torres*, Juliana de Castro Reis, João Carlos Correia Baptista Soares de Mello

Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Passo da Pátria, São Domingos, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL.


The Olympic Games were created in 1896, where 241 men competed in 10 modalities. Since then, new editions have been held every 4 years, with more athletes, more countries, and more modalities. Although there is no official ranking released by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the media always elaborate rankings to evaluate the countries’ participation using the lexicographic method. However, the lexicographic method is often criticized as it overvalues the gold medal and disregards that each modality distributes a different number of medals. We propose a methodology to analyse the performance of the countries, through the application of successive h-indexes and h-cores, where the goal is not to generate a final ranking, but to identify the Olympic Powers in the history of the Games. Olympic Powers are the countries that stand out in a great variety of modalities, so they can be considered the great champions in the general picture. The concept of Olympic Power considers the number of times that a country occupies the first places of the ranking of each modality (or of each edition). As a result, we identified six countries as the Olympic Powers of history: USA, USSR, Germany, UK, China and Russia. Finally, we compared the result of the proposed methodology with the lexicographic ranking.

Phases and steps of the methodology

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Torres BGuimarães, Reis Jde Castro, de Mello JCarlos Cor. Identification of the Olympic Powers in History using a Methodology Based on h-index and h-core. Journal of Scientometric Research. 2021;10(1):94-100. doi:10.5530/jscires.10.1.11.