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Research Impacts Using Citation Metrics

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Liaison Librarian

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Julia Gelfand
Office: Science Library 228

Phone: 949-824-4971


Web of Science Author Search

can be used to gather and organize author information for the purpose of evaluating Author Impact.

Author Search in Web of Science is a guide to finding articles written by a specific author.

Web of Science Citation Reports shows how that Web of Science feature can be used to get information about how an author is being cited, including the author's H-Index.

Results Analysis shows how that feature can be used to sort an author's output by various categories.

Although strongest in the sciences, the Web of Science is a multidisciplinary database that includes:

  • The Science Citation Index from 1900 to the present
  • The Social Sciences Citation Index from 1956 to the present
  • The Arts & Humanities Citation Index from 1975 to the present

Like all databases, the Web of Science does not include all articles published, but its selection of journals is highly respected and thus useful for citation analysis.

Cited Reference Search in Web of Science (under Article Impact) can also include references to non-Web of Science indexed works (thus increasing the citation counts for an author), however a Citation Report from a Cited Reference Search analyzes the citing works, not the author's works.

It is crucial to remember that all the tools of citation metrics have limitations. For best results use multiple tools.

Also remember that this is a quantitative tool, and that citations do not necessarily indicate a positive review of an article.

Accessing the Web of Science

Here is a link to the Web of Science database. You can also access the database through UCI Libraries>Research Tools>Find Online Resources>Databases>Search. Authorized off-campus users (UCI students, faculty and staff) will need to implement remote access using VPN.
The default screen is the Search page.

Using Author Search in the Web of Science

You can search using the author field on the Web of Science search page, but for a more controlled search try using Author Search. Click on the Author Search tab in the menu bar,  or under the author field search box.

Enter Author Name.

Use the full name and first initial. Since names in citations vary in degrees of completeness, for a more comprehensive search only enter the first initial and do not specify exact matches.  If a name can be spelled more than one way, you may wish to click on Add Author Name Variant to include those alternative spellings.

Click on Next.

Select Research Domain.

To narrow multiple results, indicate the research domains of the author. The options are grouped in broad categories: Arts Humanities, Life Sciences BioMedicine, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Technology. These can be expanded to reveal sub-categories, dependent on the results for each author. Check the boxes of the domains most applicable to the author you're looking for.

Click on Next.

Select Organization.

If you know an author's affiliated organizations, this can be another way to limit search results. Organizations can include companies, institutes, groups and academic institutions with which the author has been and is currently associated.

Use these limiters with caution, however. They can be helpful in narrowing results, if the information is accurate, but there is also the danger of missed references.

Click on Search.

Results List

The results can be further refined by either using the options in the Refine Results pane or by selecting Record Sets. The goal is define the author as accurately as possible in order to focus on the correct author, but broad enough to include variant names of the same author.

Clicking on the # Record Sets tab allows you to see results grouped by name variations. You can then select the sets that are most likely to correspond to the author you are searching for.

After you narrow the list of results to a specific author's articles, you can do several things with the information. You can:

  • Print, email, or export the list to a citation manager.
  • Flag your own articles for your Researcher ID list.
  • Create sub-lists, by checking the boxes of individual articles.
  • Click on an article to see its full record; where you can view the lists of article that cited it (Times Cited) and articles it cites (Cited References); and sometimes link to its full-text using UC e-Links.
  • Tag an article for a Citation Alert, where you'll be notified whenever that article is cited by an article indexed in the Web of Science.
  • Create a Citation Report.
  • Analyze Results.

Web of Science Citation Reports

This feature provides statistical information about an author's publishing output (indexed within Web of Science) and the citations the author's work has received. It can be used to discern patterns, find an H-Index, and get a fuller picture of the publishing and citation history of an individual author.

Once you've done an Author Search and have appropriately refined your results, click on:

(The icon is located near the top right of the results page.)

The report includes two bar graphs:

To the right of the graphs, statistical information is listed:

Note that this report lists the author's H-Index (based on the citation results returned by Web of Science). The H-Index measures author impact, but the numbers should only be compared within an academic discipline, since publishing patterns vary.

Below this information, the listing of articles can be sorted in various ways.

The number of citations for each article by year are also cited within the report.

Results Analysis

This feature allows you to rank the results of an Author Search by various fields in order to compare and discern patterns in an author's output.

Once you've done an Author Search and have appropriately refined your results, click on:

(The icon is located near the top right of the results page.)

The fields include:

  • Authors
  • Book Series Title
  • Countries/Territories
  • Document Types
  • Editors
  • Funding Agencies
  • Grant Numbers
  • Group Authors
  • Languages
  • Organizations
  • Organizations-Enhanced
  • Publication Years
  • Research Areas
  • Source Titles
  • Web of Science Categories.

The resultant display can be set to include 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 or 500 records. A minimum threshold of occurances in a category can also be set.

Here is a sample analysis by Research Area (with a display option for top 10 results and a minimum threshold record count of 2: