Citation metrics

Use citation analysis to give an indication of research quality. There is a range of tools available to help you calculate the number of times your research has been cited by other researchers.

Citation metrics are not an exact science. Always use citation metrics in conjunction with other measures to assess the impact of your research.

Search toolResearch areaPublication types includedCoverage

Web of Science 
(Clarivate Analytics)

Sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities

Journals, conference proceedings and books

The industry standard in many fields and the source of information for the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

Scopus (Elsevier)

Sciences, social sciences, business

Journals and conference proceedings

Overlaps with the Web of Science database, but also includes many journals not covered by Web of Science especially in business, accounting, management, and education. Scopus is the source of information for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Google Scholar

Multidisciplinary: better coverage of the arts and humanities than the other databases

Journals, conference proceedings, books, PhD theses, preprints, reports and more

Provides a simple way to search broadly for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources. It includes much the same content as Web of Science and Scopus. It also lists university websites and institutional repositories.

What you need to know before you start

  • Several databases can be used to find the number of citations a publication has received. We recommend choosing the one with the most credibility in your field.
  • Each database is only as good as the data it indexes. Only citations in publications indexed by that database will appear in the citation count. Each database can return considerably different citations counts for the same publication.
  • The format of the author name may vary. All variations should be included in your search:
    e.g. Smith, J. or Smith, John or Smith, J. J.
  • Some personal names are very common.  Make sure you don't include publications by a different author with the same name.
  • If your discipline area isn't well covered by Web of Science or Scopus, try using Google Scholar. However, be aware that it is not considered a reliable source of citation data by most disciplines. If you're applying for a grant with a major funder, use Web of Science or Scopus. Check the quality of the journal in Ulrichs web.

Web of Science

To find an author's total citations:

  1. Go to the Web of Science Core Collection (you will need to log in if you're off campus).
  2. From the Basic search pull-down menu, select Author search
  3. In the search boxes, enter the author’s name and initials. Click Select Research Domain
  4. Use the checkboxes to select research domain. Click Select Organization
  5. Use the checkboxes to select the author’s organisation. Click Finish Search
  6. You can arrange for Web of Science to send you an email each time that author is cited.

To find a specific article's citations:

  1. Go to the Web of Science Core Collection (you will need to log in if you're off campus).
  2. From the Basic search pull-down menu, select Cited Reference Search
  3. In the search boxes, enter the author’s name and initials, the cited work/ title and cited year/s. Click Search
  4. Use the checkbox to select the author’s name. Click Finish Search
  5. You can arrange for Web of Science to send you an email each time that publication is cited.

Scopus

To find an author's total citations:

  1. Go to Scopus (you will need to log in if you're off campus)
  2. Click Authors
  3. Include an affiliation if known (eg: Swinburne University of Technology)
  4. Enter the author's name (yours if you are looking for your own citation information)
  5. Click Search
  6. You will be presented with a list of possible authors. Tick the box next to the author name(s) that seem(s) appropriate
  7. Click View Citation Overview.

To find a specific article's citations:

  1. Click Documents.
  2. Enter the title of the individual publication
  3. Click Search
  4. Choose the correct reference from the results table and click on the number in the Cited By column. This will take you to a list of articles that cite the selected publication
  5. You can arrange for Scopus to send you an email each time that publication is cited.

 

Google Scholar

  1. Go to Google Scholar.
  2. Enter the title of the individual publication into the main search box.
  3. When you have found the result you were looking for, click on the Cited by [number] link underneath the result to view the references that cite the publication.

Make it easier to track your citations in Google Scholar:

  1. Register for a Google account using your university email address.
  2. Go to Google Scholar.
  3. Click the My Citations link in the top navigation bar.
  4. Follow the prompts to register your profile.
  5. You can arrange for Google Scholar to send you an email each time it indexes a publication by an author with your name.

Other citation metrics

  • Journal impact factor: a metric used to indicate the quality of a journal based on the average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal
  • CiteScore: a set of metrics that measure a journal’s impact by looking at the average number of citations per item it receives over a three-year period. CiteScore uses data from Scopus
  • Scimago journal & country rank (SJR): a metric that calculates journal influence by looking at both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance of the journal where the citation was published. The SJR indicator is similar to Google Analytics’ PageRank algorithm. SJR uses data from Scopus
  • Source-normalized impact per paper (SNIP): a metric that measures the impact of a paper within a subject field. SNIP uses data from Scopus
  • Altmetrics: metrics for research impact that look at how widely your research is mentioned on social media
  • Check with your colleagues for other metrics appropriate to your discipline.

Contact

Emilie Johnson
Research Services Librarian
Email: eljohnson@swin.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 9214 8331