Find information and guidance on using tools for conducting research, including creating a researcher profile, measuring research impact, and marketing and social media. If you have suggestions for additional guides or require research assistance, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, click through to the other tabs in this box.
How to measure your research impact as an author
Common author-level metrics
The below table provides an overview of several common, freely available author-level metrics, their use and limitations, and where you can find your own.
|Metric||Meaning and use||Be aware that...||Where to find yours|
|Number of articles
Total number of articles ever published by a single author.
Indicator of research productivity.
It is a raw number that doesn't take into account research quality or level of impact.
Your own records
Your Researcher Profile on the Monash Health Research Repository
|Total number of citations
Total number of times that an author's articles have been cited.
A measure of scholarly influence.
|Citation patterns vary across publication types (review articles receive a disproportionate number of citations), journals, and disciplines.||
Scopus Preview (free version of Scopus)
An h-index of 3 means that, out of all papers ever published by an author, 3 of them have been cited at least 3 times. See video below for more information.
A measure of scholarly influence and research productivity.
Alternatives such as the m-quotient and g-index are similar but not commonly used.
Not suited to early-career researchers, as an author's h-index generally increases over time as citations accumulate.
Insensitive to highly-cited papers -- better for researchers publishing a greater volume of papers.
Should not be used to compare researchers from different fields.
Number of publications that have received at least 10 citations.
A measure of scholarly influence and research productivity, based on citations in Google Scholar.
Developed by Google and not available elsewhere.
Does not include citations from outside of Google Scholar.
Note: Additional author-level metrics are available via subscription databases such as InCites, SciVal, and the paid version of Scopus. Researchers affiliated with a university may have access to these databases.
Author-level citation metrics are only calculated for researchers who have a Google Scholar Profile. You can choose to keep your Google Scholar Profile private if you wish.
Scopus Preview -- the free version of Scopus -- displays key citations metrics on Author Profiles. On each Author Profile, you can find metrics including the author's h-index, total number of citations, and the number of their publications in Scopus.
Note: If you see more than one Author Name listed for you, it means that you have multiple Author Profiles and you can request to have these profiles merged. From the search results page, tick the checkbox next to each of your names -- this will bring up a 'Request to merge authors' option at the top of the results list.
h-index (2 mins 40 secs)
This video provides an overview of what the h-index is, what it means, and its limitations.
How to measure the impact of your article
Traditional metrics based on citations
The table below summarises common article-level metrics based on citations.
|Metric||What is it?||Be aware that...||Where to find yours|
|Number of citations||Raw number of times that an article has been cited by other scholarly publications.||This number is likely to differ between databases. Databases only count citations by other publications within the same individual database.||Google Scholar|
|Citation benchmarking (percentile)||
Indicates how an article is performing compared to other similar articles globally. Similar articles are determined by e.g. publication date, document type, discipline.
E.g. 99th percentile = article is in the top 1%.
|A normalised metric which can be used to compare researchers or articles from different fields.||
Scopus/SciVal or Web of Science
|Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI)||
Ratio of the number of citations actually received & the number of citations expected to be received, based on the average for a particular field of research.
A FWCI of 1 means that the publication's impact is equal to that of other similar publications.
A FWCI of <1 means that the publication's impact is less than expected, while >1 indicates it has had a greater impact than expected.
A normalised metric which can be used to compare researchers or articles from different fields.
Recommended if you are publishing in fields which typically generate fewer citations than STEM fields.
Note: If you are affiliated with a university, you may have access to the subscription version of Scopus/SciVal and similar tools such as Web of Science.
Google Scholar displays citations for all articles in its database.
Option 1: Search Google Scholar for the article that you are interested in and locate it in the search results. 'Cited by' shows you the number of citations by other articles in Google Scholar. To view a list of the citing articles, click on 'Cited by'.
Option 2: Create a Google Scholar Profile for yourself. Your profile will list your publications and the number of citations they have received in the 'Cited by' column.
Article metrics: What do they mean and why are they important to researchers? (2 mins 51 secs)
This video -- by academic publisher Taylor & Francis -- explains the importance of article-level metrics.
Altmetrics (alternative metrics) are non-traditional metrics that consider a wide range of activity such as tweets, Facebook posts, article views and downloads, and discussion on scholarly networking sites and repositories. Many publishers, databases, Open Access archives (such as ArXiv), and repositories now contain altmetrics.
Note: Altmetrics are currently only available for individual research outputs (i.e. at the article-level), rather than author-level.
Why look at altmetrics?
Altmetrics complement traditional metrics (bibliometrics) by:
More information: 10 tips for using altmetrics in your CV and grant applications
Click through to the next two tabs to learn how to use PlumX and Altmetric, two common altmetrics tools.
Altmetrics explained in under 2 mins (1 min 24 secs)
This video from Leeds University Library introduces altmetrics, providing examples and noting strengths and limitations.
How to use altmetrics for professional advancement (2 mins 44 secs)
This video covers 3 rules for using altmetrics data. While the case study uses a researcher applying for tenure, the rules are applicable to job and grant applications more generally.
PlumX provides information about how people are interacting with a particular research output online. Research outputs include journal articles, as well as over 60 other outputs such as abstracts, book chapters, and theses.
PlumX divides its chosen metrics into five categories:
|Citations||citation indexes, clinical citations, policy citations, patent citations||Citations are traditional measures of academic impact. Clinical citations and policy citations are indicators of societal impact.|
|Usage||clicks, downloads, views, library holdings, video plays||Shows that people are reading the article or otherwise using the research.|
|Captures||bookmarks, favorites, reference manager saves, readers, watchers||Indicates that someone wants to come back to the work. Can be an indicator of future citations.|
|Mentions||blog posts, comments, reviews, Wikipedia links, news articles||'True' engagement with the research and its findings.|
|Social media||shares, likes, comments, tweets||"Buzz" or attention. Also an indication of how well the article was promoted.|
Adapted from: PlumX Analytics. (n.d.). About PlumX Metrics. https://plumanalytics.com/learn/about-metrics/
Finding PlumX Metrics for your articles
PlumX Metrics are often embedded in databases and online journal websites.
Click through to the next tab in this box to learn about another common altmetric tool, Altmetric.
Altmetric is a tool produced by a company of the same name. Altmetric tracks social media sites, newspapers, magazines and more. You may have seen the Altmetric 'donut' logo (below) while reading or searching for research papers online.
Altmetric Attention Score
At the centre of the 'donut' is a number called the Altmetric Attention Score, indicating how much attention an article has received. It is a weighted score, so that mentions in news media are worth more than tweets and YouTube.
A score of 0 means that Altmetric have not tracked any attention for that particular paper. Any score over 20 typically means that the article is receive above-average attention. Read more here.
How to use Altmetric
Altmetric only works in Chrome, Firefox or Safari. It can be added to the bookmarks toolbar and used to get altmetrics on articles with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) or identifiers in open access databases such as PubMed.
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