Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citations, Altmetrics and Researcher Profiles: Measuring your impact

A guide to the key tools for examining research impact, as well as setting up and managing your research profiles.

Measuring your impact

Citation analysis and other measures of esteem can be used for benchmarking and performance analysis for the purposes of University ranking exercises, awarding government block funding for research, competitive research grants and promotions. See the Research Impact at UWA website for further information.

Citation is the process of acknowledging or citing the author and title of a source (journal, book, or other) used in a published work. Such citations can be counted as measures of the usage and engagement with the cited work. Among the measures that have emerged from citation analysis are the citation counts for:

  • an individual article (how often it was cited, field-weighted citations);
  • an author (total citations, or average citation count per article);
  • a journal (average citation count for the articles in the journal).

There may be differences in the citations and h-index on your profile between ScopusWeb of Science and Google Scholar, this is because there is some variation in the journals they index.

Citation analysis has advantages and disadvantages in all its forms, spanning from bias to discipline-dependence and limitations of the citation data source. Further, each specific discipline has its own citing behaviour and the value of citation analysis will vary across disciplines.

There are other measures of research quality and esteem that may provide additional evidence of research quality and/or research capacity. These may include:

  • Conference Publications
  • International engagement
  • Influence on industry/government/public policy/community/cultural organisations
  • Successfully acquitted research grants/ projects
  • Awards and Prizes
  • Holdings in Libraries
  • Partnerships
  • Editorships
  • Research Fellowships
  • Membership of Learned Academy
  • Membership of Statutory Committee
  • Patents
  • Registered Designs
  • Plant Breeders Rights
  • NHMRC and ARC endorsed Guidelines
  • Research Commercialisation Income

To find who is citing your publications, search citation databases such as Scopus/Web of Science or Google Scholar.

  1. Do a title search for your article.
  2. Look for Times Cited or Cited by.


Web of Science

  • Look for Times Cited:

WoS times cited

Look for Cited by:

Cited by:

Google Scholar cited by

Who is citing my book?

  1. Find out how many libraries hold your book. 
  2. Search for the title of the book or book chapter to locate citations.

For holdings in Australian Libraries, search: 

For holdings in International Libraries, search:  

Book reviews

Try searching these databases for book reviews: Factiva, Google Books, Ebook Central, JSTOR, Project MUSE, Proquest, Scopus, Web of Science

Creative Writing

Try searching your title in Austlit, Contemporary Authors and Literature Online

To find highly cited articles on a particular topic, run a keyword search in citation databases such as Scopus or Web of Science.  Sort on the search result by "Cited by (highest)" citations (Scopus) or  "Sort by: Times cited: Highest to lowest" (Web of Science), so the most highly cited work is at the top of your search results.

This Scopus tutorial demonstrates the use of Scopus article metrics.

"Data citation refers to the practice of providing a reference to data in the same way as researchers routinely provide a bibliographic reference to outputs such as journal articles, reports and conference papers. Citing data is increasingly being recognised as one of the key practices leading to recognition of data as a primary research output."

The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) has developed a poster which outlines the data citation process.

Building a Culture of Data Citation poster

Further information about data citation: Research Data Management Toolkit.

Citation databases allow you to set an alert so you can be notified as soon as a new citation is added to the database.

Alerts enable researchers to track where, by whom, and how often an article has been cited. 

Create an author alert in citation databases such as Scopus or Web of Science.

Scopus tutorial: Search for an author and set up an alert.
Web of Science tutorial: Stay up-to-date

Beyond these, some subject-specific databases also provide citation linking.

The Field-Weighted Citation Impact metric (FWCI) and Category Normalised Citation Impact metric (CNCI) both calculate the ratio of citations received relative to the expected world average, as normalised for the subject category, publication type and publication year.

The FWCI is found in Scopus, and is only accessible at the level of individual research outputs. CNCI is calculated on Web of Science data, and is accessible using InCites and can be used to access the CNCI for all publications by an individual researcher.

In both cases, an FWCI or CNCI of 1 indicates that the publication has been cited at the world average for similar publications:  

  • If greater than 1, then the publication has been cited more than would be expected for the world average for similar publications. For example, an FWCI or CNCI of 2, indicates that the article has received double the citations than the world average for similar publications.
  • If less than 1, this indicates that the publication has been cited less than would be expected based on the world average for similar publications.
  • If the FWCI or CNCI is absent, this indicates zero citations.

Many researchers find that the FWCI and CNCI metrics for the same article are different – sometimes significantly so. This is due to differences in database coverage between Web of Science and Scopus, affecting the number of citations that are indexed in each system.

The H-index is a measure of an individual's impact on the research community based upon the number of papers published and the number of citations these papers have received.

The index was first proposed by J. E. Hirsch in 2005 and is defined as:

A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np-h) papers have no more than h citations each.

As an example, a researcher with an H-index of 15 has (of their total number of publications) 15 papers which have been cited at least 15 times each.

 Researcher    Researcher  B  
Paper rank Citations   Paper rank  Citations   
1 10   1348  Neither researcher can have an H-index of more than 6, as they each have 6 papers total.
2 8    2  159  
3 6    3  50  
4 5    4  4  Both researchers have an H-index of 4.
5 4    5  4 It cannot be 5 because they do not have 5 papers with at least 5 citations.
6 0    6  3  


Calculating your H-index

The H-index can be calculated using the library-subscribed databases Web of Science or Scopus, and also using the My Citations feature of Google Scholar or the freely downloadable program Publish or Perish, which also takes its citation information from Google Scholar.

However if you wish to create a true H-index based on all unique citations to your publications from all sources, you will need to calculate it manually.  The fewer papers you have the more significant each citation becomes in terms of calculating your H-index. 


Limitations and considerations

Major citation databases

Scopus: is a comprehensive abstract and citation database covering the scientific, medical, technical and social science subject areas. Includes abstracts from 1966- , and cited references from 1996- and enables researchers to track where, by whom, and how often an article has been cited. However note that coverage of humanities & social sciences literature is limited.

There are some useful tutorials available to help you navigate your way around the Scopus database: Scopus tutorials.

Web of Science: A comprehensive abstract and citation database covering a broad range of subject areas. Enables researchers to track where, by whom, and how often an article has been cited.

Web of Science tutorials: 



 Except for logos or where otherwise indicated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence