Citation–based measures are most useful to those researchers in the ‘pure’ sciences, or in fields with a relatively high overall citation rate.
Citation counts can be gathered for:
- an individual article (how often it was cited)
- an author (total citations, or average citation count per article)
- a journal (average citation count for the articles in the journal).
The three main tools to generate a citation count include Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar.
The h-index is an important measure of an author’s influence, or your research productivity and impact. The index reflects your most cited publications and the number of citations they accrued in other publications. For example, to have an h-index of 10, you must have at least 10 publications with at least 10 citations each.
Your h-index can be calculated by a Google Scholar profile which lists your publications, an ORCID ID, or via Scopus or Web of Science.
Issues to be aware of
In general, H-index values can only be compared within a single discipline. For example, an average medical researcher will generally have much larger h-index values than a world-class mathematician. Even within a discipline, comparing h-index values is only useful if all information has been found using the same database and method.
It is therefore useful to identify your h-index by its source e.g. a 'Scopus h-index'.
The h-index may be less useful in some disciplines, as different publishing and citation patterns may mean that there are not enough citations available to generate a useful measure, and if the publications and citations are not indexed in databases.
Also, citation patterns vary widely between disciplines and across types of publications. Care should be taken when comparing citation counts.
There are three main tools to generate graphs of your citation patterns including Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar.
Citer analysis provides qualitative measures of your research impact by providing information about the citations of your work, including:
- who is citing your research
- where they are
- what institution they're from
- in which publications they have published
- in which discipline they have published.
Finding out who is citing you and where they come from can help you show:
- significance of your impact
- trends in publishing in your field
- evidence that your work is influential across multiple disciplines
Scopus and Web of Science can provide you with graphs and analytic tools for this type of information.
If your work is not widely indexed or cited in Scopus or Web of Science, you can get much of this information from Google Scholar and disciplinary specific databases.