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Measuring Research Impact: Author Impact

Learn how to measure the impact of your research.

Measuring Author Impact

An author's impact on their field or discipline has traditionally been measured using the number of academic publications he or she has authored and the number of times these publications are cited by other researchers.  Thus, a simple way to demonstrate your impact is to create a comprehensive list of your publications and the number of times they have been cited.

Different algorithms have been created that calculate an author impact 'score' using data on their publications. Below are a few metrics you may encounter:

Remember that while citation metrics such as author impact measurements provide some representation of the impact of research in a field, they have limitations and should be used with care.

Calculating Author Impact Using Web of Science

Web of Science is a large, interdisciplinary database that tracks citations. One way to view your author metrics in Web of Science is to register for ResearcherID and add publications to your author profile (using ORCID, EndNote, Web of Science, etc.).

You can also do an Author Search in Web of Science. After selecting an author's name, you will see a record for the author that includes the author's publications and h-index. Due to name variations and some names being common, this record may or may not include only publications by your target researcher.

If you need to refine the publication list, you can choose "View as a set of results to export, analyze, and link to full text." Next, in the search results, select the publications of the author of interest and use the checkboxes to add them to a Marked List. If some of your author's publications ended up associated with a different author record (due to name variations, etc.), you could repeat your author search and keep adding to the Marked List. Finally, view your Marked List using the link in the upper right, then use Create Citation Report to view a citation report, h-index, etc. that you can then export or print.

Web of Science Search Results


Calculating Author Impact Using Scopus

Scopus is a multi-disciplinary database that indexes journal articles, conference publications, and more. Complete citation data is available from 1996 to present, so citation data prior to 1996 may be incomplete.

To calculate measures of your author impact in Scopus, first do an author search by entering information in this search form:

Author Search in Scopus

You will then get a list of author profiles that match your search criteria - you can click on the linked name to view the author profile. Because your name may appear differently in different publications, or your affiliation may have changed, you may want to skim the list and select all matches. Documents with insufficient data to be matched to an author profile can be included by selecting Show Profile Matches with One Document from the top of the page. If necessary, you can also use the criteria on the left side to narrow the list.

Once you've selected all variations of your name, you can show documents, view a citation overview that includes the h-index, or request to merge authors into a single profile. You can print or export the citation overview.

Scopus author search results

Calculating Author Impact Using Google Scholar

Once you've created a Google Scholar Profile, it is easy to add publications and see your h-index and i10-index. Publications like theses, books, and reports that might not be included in Scopus or Web of Science can be added in Google Scholar and will contribute to your citation count. However, you should check data in Google Scholar carefully, since it can be more prone to errors and duplication.

Caution about Author Impact Calculations

Because databases like Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar differ in the content that they include, it is likely that your citation counts, and even your h-index, will be different depending on which database you use.

Publish or Perish