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Research Impacts Using Citation Metrics

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Julia Gelfand
Office: Science Library 228

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Author Impact - Why is it Important?

Margaret MeadCornel WestSusan SontagTsung Dao Lee

Using Citation Metrics to determine Author Impact can help scholars not only identify significant voices in their field, but also provide one indicator of an author's perceived value - by demonstrating where and how one's work has been cited. Citation metrics have been applied for purposes of hiring, promotion and tenure.

Citation Databases and Indices can be used to:

  • Demonstrate how often an author's work has been cited.
  • Discover who is doing related work.
  • Track the published work of colleagues and competitors.
  • Explore the evolution of theories and ideas through citation tracking.
  • Identify key authors in a field.
  • Build a research profile so others can find and follow one's work.

Recommended Tools include:

Web of ScienceWeb of Science Citation Report

  • Citation Graphs
  • H-Index
  • Researcher ID

Google ScholarGoogle Scholar Profile

  • Author Profiles
  • Citation Alerts

Scopus Profile - Many authors have similar names. The Scopus Author Identifier distinguishes between these names by assigning each author in Scopus a unique number and grouping together all of the documents written by that author.

Registering in Scopus

Some features in Scopus, such as alerts and saved searches, are available only if you register. Registration is a one-time activity. The information you enter is stored in your Scopus profile. To edit your profile, click Settings | Modify personal details.

To register

  1. Click Register at the top of any Scopus page, or click Not Registered? inside the Login box.
  2. Complete the Your details and E-mail and password sections.
  3. If you like, click Show other settings to enter your role, job title, and/or address information.
  4. Click the check box if you would like to receive emails about future updates, releases, or related products.
  5. Click the check box for I have read and understood the Registered User Agreement.
  6. Click Register.

ORCID - Provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.

  1. Register - Get your unique ORCID identifier. Registration takes 30 seconds.
  2. Add Your Info - Enhance your ORCID record with your professional information and link to your other identifiers (such as Scopus or ResearchID or LinkedIn).
  3. Use Your ORCID ID - Include your ORCID identifier on your Webpage, when you submit publications, apply for grants, and in any research workflow to ensure you get credit for your work.

No one tool will provide complete information about an author's citations. Each database only searches material in that database. It is best to explore multiple sources.

Also remember that citation counts never tell the whole story. They don't indicate why a item was cited or how significant or positive the reference was, and the indices that measure author impact often don't consider the duration of an author's career. Lastly, citation counts and indices only should be compared within an academic discipline. Publishing patterns in physics, for example, differ from those in Sociology.


H-index = scholarly impact

A scientist has index h if h of [his/her] Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np − h) papers have at most h citations each.

The H-Index was developed by Jorge Hirsch in his quest to find a better way to rank authors within their field.

Illustration: Ronald Kurniawan, Wired Magazine 17:06, 05.22.09

As described in the linked article from Wired Magazine, H-Index rankings do seem to generally mirror scholarly success, but with an advantage to authors who have published longer.

Since publishing output varies by discipline, authors' H-Index rankings should only be compared within a discipline.

Resources to access the H-Index are listed below:

My ResearcherID

ResearcherID is a global, multi-disciplinary scholarly research community. With a unique identifier assigned to each author in ResearcherID, you can eliminate author misidentification and view an author's citation metrics instantly. Search the registry to find collaborators, review publication lists and explore how research is used around the world.

Manage your citation metrics using ResearcherID. You can add automatically track citation counts and add your publications directly from Web of Science searches. Registration is free and allows you to manage your publication list and on-line profile and find collaborators.

New Information Products

With the altmetrics movement, there have been many new sources and information products that compute impacts of different kinds.  The following products are certainly worth keeping on your radar:

Publish or Perish

Publish or Perish (PoP) is a free download created by Anne-Wil Harzing that uses Google Scholar to gather data and measure author impact. It uses various metrics including alternatives to the H-Index.