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Research Guides

Research Impact & Researcher Identity

Author Impact

An author's impact on their field of research 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. Because of this, a simple way to illustrate an author's impact is to create a comprehensive list of their publications and the number of times they have been cited.

Citation analysis is traditionally used to measure author impact. Citation analysis compares the number of academic publications you have published (quantity) to the number of times these publications have been cited by other researchers (quality). The h-index is the most common method of citation analysis. 

Traditional Author Level Metrics

H-Index

What is it?

The h-index is the number of papers (h) that have been cited h or more times. For example, if you have 10 papers that have been cited 10 or more times then you have an h-index of 10.

Limitations

  • Early-career researchers do not have an accurate h-index.
    • These researchers generally have less publications and it may take years for other authors to cite them.
  • H-indexes from different disciplines cannot be compared.
    • Disciplines have different citation and authorship patterns.
    • For example, in Medicine co-authorship is common and papers have lots of references, which means the average h-index is relatively high. In Philosophy, co-authorship is rare and papers have less citations, which means the average h-index is relatively low.
  • Your h-index will vary depending on the resource used to calculate it and the scope of the resource's database.

Tools Available for H-Index

  • Web of Science tracks, analyzes, and visualizes author impact in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It is most useful for the sciences. To view your research impact:
    • Search and save your publications to a Marked List.
    • Create a Citation Report from your Marked List to visualize your h-index and citation count
  • By using InCites, you can compare individuals or institutions to see how your research compares to your peers. You can create dynamic tables and graphs to compare ​people, organizations, regions, research areas, and journals.​​
  • Scopus provides citation tracking, visualizations, and analysis tools for authors. Scopus is most useful in the sciences.
  • Google Scholar is a free online tool useful for finding citations that are not on Web of Science or Scopus, such as books, grey literature, government and legal publications, and non-English resources.
  • Publish or Perish is a free downloadable program that uses Google Scholar data to measure your total publications, citation counts, h-index, and g-index​.

G-Index

What is it?

The g-index was created as an improvement to the h-index. It gives more weight to your higher-cited publications. The metric was introduced in 2006 but is not as widely accepted as the h-index.

Limitations

  • Early-career researchers do not have an accurate g-index.
    • These researchers generally have less publications and it may take years for other authors to cite them.
  • G-indexes from different disciplines cannot be compared.
    • Disciplines have different citation and authorship patterns.
    • For example, in Medicine co-authorship is common and papers have lots of references, which means the average g-index is relatively high. In Philosophy, co-authorship is rare and papers have less citations, which means the average g-index is relatively low.
  • Your g-index will vary depending on the resource used to calculate it and the scope of the resource's database.
  • It is not as widely accepted as h-index.

Tools Available for G-Index

  • Publish or Perish is a free downloadable program that uses Google Scholar data to measure your total publications, citation counts, h-index, and g-index​.

i10-Index

What is it?

The i10-index tracks how many of your publications have been cited by at least 10 other publications. It is a more straightforward measurement than the h-index or g-index. The metric is currently only used by Google Scholar. 

Tools Available for i10-Index

  • Google Scholar is a free online tool useful for finding citations that are not on Web of Science or Scopus, such as books, grey literature, government and legal publications, and non-English resources.
  • Publish or Perish is a free downloadable program that uses Google Scholar data to measure your total publications, citation counts, h-index, and g-index​.

Librarians can also help determine your research impact. For more information, contact your Liaison Librarian.

Each tool may produce varying results depending on the scope of its database. For an accurate picture of your research impact, use more than one tool and compare the results.