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Increase Your Scholarly Impact

A self-service guide to help you increase your scholarly impact, provided by the Libraries' Scholarly Impact Service (SIS).

Book/Chapter Metrics Defined

Faculty frequently need to report two metrics related to books for annual evaluation, promotion/tenure dossiers, and grant proposals:

  • the number of citations to a book/book chapter, and
  • the author's h-index.

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.

Find the Number of Citations per Book/Chapter

You may need to consult multiple citation databases because no one resource includes all of your books/book chapters or counts all citations to them. Your choice of databases will be determined by your subject area and the number of books included in a database.

Google Scholar. This citation database includes citations to your books, book chapters, articles, and more. It's the most inclusive tool regarding types of publications and subject areas. The easiest way to gather all of the citations to your publications in GS is to create My Profile (see a librarian's profile) starting from the home page. The profile 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. 

  • Subject coverage. Best coverage of humanities, and also strong in social sciences and STEM disciplines.
  • Publication types. Journal articles (both peer-reviewed and not), books, book chapters, conference proceedings, whitepapers, and more.
  • Limitations. 1) There is no guarantee that a citing publication is peer-reviewed - check this by looking at the citing publications; and 2) Google does not provide a list of journals and other publications from which it collects citations.
  • Videos/Resources. Google Scholar Profile Basics (5.52 mins), Harzing's Publish or Perish (PoP), PoP Tutorial: Finding out your publications, citations and h-index.

Web of Science. This subscription resource is considered the "gold standard" in citation databases. It includes 90,000 individual book titles, mostly from series. The most thorough way to find the total citations for a book is to do a Cited Reference Search (3.24 minute video), which additionally identifies incomplete/erroneous citations. The database is strongest in the science disciplines.

  • Subject coverage. 65% Sciences, 23% Social Sciences, and 13% Arts and Humanities.
  • Publication types. Peer-reviewed journal articles, some technical/trade journals, and book series.
  • Limitations. 1) Weak coverage of humanities and social sciences; and 2) in general, book chapters are not included as separate, searchable items.
  • Videos/Resources.  Cited Reference Search (3.24 mins) from Web of Science Training.

Scopus. This subscription database from Elsevier includes 150,000+ individual book titles, notably more than Web of Science. Currently, the Libraries do not have a subscription to Scopus, but we plan to in the future. Meanwhile, you can use the Scopus Preview: Author Search to find citation counts for your books/book chapters and see the citing publications. The database content is significantly skewed toward the science disciplines. 

  • Subject coverage. 70% Sciences and 31% Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities combined. 
  • Publication types. Mainly peer-reviewed journals and books series, along with some conference proceedings and trade journals.
  • Limitations. 1) Weak coverage of humanities and social sciences; and 2) relatively fewer book chapters are included as separate, searchable items.
  • Videos/Resources. Scopus Author Profile (blog with screenshots), Scopus Author Feedback Wizard.

ACM Digital LibraryIEEE XploreMathSciNet, SciFinder Scholar and other subject-specific databases. Most subject-specific databases include at least a small percentage of books in their content.  Ask Erin O'Toole, Science Librarian, whether databases in your subject area include citation counts for books.

Publisher websites. Many publisher websites now provide a count of citations to individual books and/or chapters. Examples are Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry in ScienceDirect and Degrees of Affinity: Studies in Comparative Literature and Translation in Springer.

Find Your H-Index

Multiple citation databases calculate the h-index for an author based on citations to books, book chapters, articles, 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:

  • they are not interchangeable because the base citation counts are from differing sets of citing publications to differing sets of cited publications, and
  • they are not cumulative because there is overlap between the citations to one publication.

Google Scholar. This citation database calculates your h-index for all citations and from the past 5 years, plus your i10-index, which is the number of publications with 10 or more citations.  The h-indices are based on citations to your publications, including books and book chapters. Create My Profile (see a librarian's profile) starting from the home page in order to obtain your h-indices. 

  • Subject coverage. Best coverage of humanities, and also strong in social sciences and STEM disciplines.
  • Publication types. Journal articles (both peer-reviewed and not), books, book chapters, conference proceedings, whitepapers, and more.
  • Limitations. 1) There is no guarantee that a citing publication is peer-reviewed - check this by looking at the citing publications; and 2) a limited number of book chapters appear in Google Scholar as separate items.
  • Videos/Resources. Google Scholar Profile Basics (5.52 mins)

Web of Science. This subscription database calculates your h-index from the number of citations to your books, book chapters, articles and more from the publications tracked by Web of Science from 1995 through the current year. 

  • Subject coverage. 65% Sciences, 23% Social Sciences, and 13% Arts and Humanities.
  • Publication types. Peer-reviewed journal articles, some technical/trade journals, and book series.
  • Limitations. 1) Weak coverage of humanities and social sciences; and 2) there are relatively fewer book chapters that are included as separate, searchable items.
  • Videos/Resources.  Getting a Researcher's H-Index from Web of Science (1:35 mins)

Scopus. This subscription database from Elsevier calculates your h-index from the number of citations to your books and books chapters from the publications tracked by Scopus.  The citations mainly come from peer-reviewed journals, and many fewer books and conference proceedings. Currently, the Libraries do not have a subscription to SC, but we plan to in the future. Meanwhile, you can use the Scopus Preview: Author Search to find your h-index. 

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