Faculty frequently need to report two metrics related to articles for annual evaluation, promotion/tenure dossiers, and grant proposals:
The h-index is calculated from the number of citations to the body of publications by one author over time. For example, an h-index of 10 means an author has 10 publications that have 10 citations or more. The h-index may include citations to articles, books, and other publications depending on the discipline and the source of the h-index. For more information, see the J.E. Hirsch's article about the development of the index, which attempts to account for both productivity and citation impact.
Note: You will need to consult multiple citation databases because no one resource includes all of your articles or counts all citations to them. Your choice of databases will be determined by your subject area because some databases have better coverage in certain disciplines than others, as noted below.
Google Scholar. This free citation database is the most inclusive tool regarding types of publications and subject areas. The easiest way to gather all of the citations to your publications in Google Scholar is to create My Profile (see a librarian's profile) starting from the home page, which has the added benefit of making your publications easier for other researchers to find as it comes up first in a search for your name.
Web of Science. This subscription resource is considered the "gold standard" in citation databases and tracks citations from ~12,800 titles starting in 1995. The most thorough way to find the total citations for an article is to do a Cited Reference Search (see below), which additionally identifies incomplete/erroneous citations.
Scopus. This subscription database from Elsevier tracks citations from about twice as many publications as Web of Science and is stronger in international and interdisciplinary titles.
ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore, MathSciNet, SciFinder Scholar and other subject-specific databases. Most subject-specific databases that provide article citations are in the STEM disciplines. Ask Erin O'Toole, Science Librarian, whether databases in your subject area have this feature.
Journal websites. Many journal websites now provide a count of citations to an individual article. Examples are the ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems, Adult Education Quarterly, and Frontiers of Architectural Research.
Note: Multiple citation databases calculate the h-index for an author based on citations to articles, books, and more over a period of time. When selecting which h-index to use, consider which database covers the majority of your publications. Two things to remember about the h-indices from different databases:
Google Scholar. This citation database calculates your h-indices based on all citations, the past 5 years of citations, and the number of publications with 10 or more citations (i10-index). Create My Profile (see a librarian's profile) starting from the home page in order to obtain your h-indices.
Web of Science. This subscription database calculates your h-index from the number of citations to your articles from the publications tracked by Web of Science from 1995 through the current year.
Scopus. This subscription database from Elsevier calculates your h-index from the number of citations to your articles from the publications tracked by Scopus.
Journal websites and institutional repositories offer a variety of article metrics that can be helpful when your article 1) isn't included in a citation database, and/or 2) is too new to have citations. Some of the metrics available and examples are:
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The Scholarly Impact Service (SIS) is team of librarians who can help you tell the story of your scholarship and its impact on your discipline. Contact us to start a personal consultation about your scholarly impact.
Main Contact: John Martin
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Expertise: Publication options, ORCIDs, Google Scholar profiles
Subject Librarian for the College of Science
Expertise: Author, article and journal metrics