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Measuring Research Impact 4: Impact of Authors


Author Metrics

Author-level metrics are quantitative measures that aim to evaluate the research performance, productivity, and impact of individual researchers. By offering insights into a researcher's contributions, citation impact, and scholarly achievements, these metrics are commonly used to assess the impact of research, identify potential collaborators, strengthen funding applications, etc.

It is worth noting that metrics can vary across different platforms due to variations in the coverage of publication types, sources, and time periods. Therefore, researchers are suggested to monitor their author profiles and ensure that their metrics are up-to-date on the platforms.


What is it


An individual has an h-index of h if h papers have been cited at least h times.

The Hirsch Index, or h-index, measures the productivity and citation impact of a researcher. It uses the number of publications to quantify the productivity and the citation count to quantify the citation impact. It is based on the understanding that researchers with a higher h-index generally have a greater number of publications that are considered important within their field.

The h-index is determined through a simple calculation: an individual has an h-index of h if he/she has h papers that have been cited at least h times. To calculate an h-index, we rank the author's publications by citations in descending order and count the number of publications that have been cited at least the same number of times. In the example below, the author's h-index is 3, meaning that 3 of his/her publications have been cited 3 times or more. 

  


How to find it

Scopus (inc. how to excl. self-citations) > 

1. Author's h-index can be found on the Scopus author profile page. Click "View h-graph" to view details.

2. To exclude self-citations from the author, check the corresponding box and click "Update Graph".

3. The updated h-index can be found on the screen.

Web of Science > 

Author's h-index can be found in the right panel of the Web of Science researcher profile page.

The guide Web of Science ResearcherID shows more information on researcher profile.

Google Scholar > 

Author's h-index of all publications and publications since 2019 can be found in the upper part of the Google Scholar page.

The guide Build your Google Scholar profile shows more information on Google Scholar.

What is it

Document count is a widely used metric that provides a quantitative measure of an author's productivity. It encompasses the total number of items published by the author, including research papers, articles, books, conference proceedings, and other written works. This metric is often utilized in academia and research institutions to assess an author's output and evaluate their contribution to their field.

However, it is important to note that document count alone may not provide a comprehensive understanding of an author's scholarly impact. While it reflects their productivity, it does not consider factors such as the quality, significance, and influence of their work. Other metrics, such as citation count, h-index, and altmetrics, are often employed in conjunction with document count to provide a more holistic assessment of an author's research output.

Furthermore, it is crucial to consider the specific context and norms of the author's discipline when interpreting document count. Different fields may have varying publication practices, with some emphasizing quality over quantity. Therefore, a balanced evaluation of an author's productivity should consider multiple metrics and take into account the specific characteristics of their research area.


How to find it

Scopus > 

Author's document count can be found on the Scopus author profile page. Documents can be further sorted by publication dates, citations, first authors and source titles.

Web of Science > 

Author's document count can be found in the right panel of the Web of Science researcher profile page. Documents can be further sorted by publication dates and citations, and refined by last authors, corresponding authors and first authors.

The guide Web of Science ResearcherID shows more information on researcher profile.

What is it

Citation count, also known as times cited, is a primary metric used to assess the influence and significance of an author's scholarly work. It measures the number of times an author's publications have been cited or referenced by other academic papers. This metric serves as an indicator of the impact an author has had within their field and can be used to evaluate their research contributions.

It is important to note that citation counts can vary across different databases and platforms. For example, Google Scholar often produces higher citation counts compared to other databases due to its inclusion of citations from a wide range of web sources. Additionally, certain factors can influence citation counts, such as the age of the publication, the discipline (STEM disciplines tend to have higher citation rates), and the level of controversy surrounding the topic.

It is also worth considering that self-citations, which occur when an author cites their own work, can inflate the overall citation count. Similarly, citations from opposing articles or contentious debates can contribute to an increased citation effect. Therefore, while citation count is an important metric, it should be interpreted in conjunction with other indicators to obtain a comprehensive understanding of an author's scholarly impact.


How to find it

Scopus (inc. how to excl. self-citations) > 

1. Author's citations can be found on the Scopus author profile page.

2. Click "Citation overview" to view details.

3. To exclude self-citations from the author or all authors, check the corresponding box and click "Update".

4. The updated citations of all the author's publications, as well as each individual publication, can be found on the list.

Web of Science (inc. how to excl. self-citations) > 

Author's citations can be found in the right panel of the Web of Science researcher profile page.

The guide Impact of Articles > Web of Science (inc. how to excl. self-citations) shows how to exclude self-citations of the author's publications. The author's total citations without self-citations can then be calculated by adding up the citations (excl. self-citations) of his/her publications.

The guide Web of Science ResearcherID shows more information on researcher profile.

Google Scholar > 

Author's citations of all publications and publications since 2019 can be found in the upper part of the Google Scholar page.

The guide Build your Google Scholar profile shows more information on Google Scholar.

What is it (Video)

Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) is a normalized measure of citation impact for similar publications across disciplines, provided by Scopus and SciVal.

FWCI can be used for benchmarking research performance of various entities, such as publication sets, authors, institutions, subjects or countries and regions. At author level, it measures the relative number of citations received by an author's publications in comparison to the average number of citations received by similar publications. Similar publications share the same publication year, publication type, and discipline. When counting citations, a four-year window is used. This means that citations received in the year of publication plus the following three years are counted for FWCI. FWCI is calculated based on data in the Scopus database. 

FWCI provides a normalized and comparable measure of citation impact. A FWCI of 1.00 means that the author's publications have been cited just as expected as the global average for similar publications. More than 1.00 means above average, and less than 1.00 means below average. For example, a FWCI of 1.51 indicates 51% more cited than the world average, and a FWCI of 0.85 indicates 15% less cited than the world average. 

See also Article-Level FWCI.


How to find it (Video)

Scopus > 

On the Scopus author profile page, click "View all metrics" to view the author's FWCI for publications from the last ten years.

To view FWCI for more complete years, click "Analyze author in SciVal".

SciVal > 

1. Go to SciVal, check the author's name under the "Researchers and Groups" panel.

2. Select the Benchmarking module.

3. Select the desired year range and subject area.

4. Select the table view.

5. Select "Benchmarking multiple metrics" and "Add multiple metrics at once".

6. Select "Field-Weighted Citation Impact" and "Add selected".

7. In the "Metrics in the table" panel, click "Update metrics".

8. Click "Field-Weighted Citation Impact".

9. Customize the metric by including/excluding self-citations, selecting publication types and author roles, and click "Choose metric".

10. View the updated "Field-Weighted Citation Impact".

The guide SciVal shows more information on how to use SciVal to do analysis and benchmarking.


Videos

What is Field-Weighted Citation Impact?

How to locate Field-Weighted Citation Impact?

What is it

Similar to Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) in Scopus and SciVal, Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI) is also a normalized measure of citation impact for similar publications across disciplines, with data provided by Web of Science and InCites.

CNCI at author level is calculated by dividing the actual citations of an author's publications by the expected citations for documents with the same document type, year of publication and subject area in Web of Science. Taking 1.00 as the global average, more than 1.00 means the author's citation impact is above average, and less than 1.00 means below average.

See also Article-Level CNCI.


How to find it

InCites > 

1. Select "Researchers" under the "Analyze" module. The researcher can be searched by name or unique IDs.

2. Indicate whether to include documents indexed by Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) in the analysis, and select the desired publication date range.

3. Under "Add indicator", search and check "Category Normalized Citation Impact" and click "Apply".

4. The author's CNCI for all publications is shown in the table.

5. To view CNCI for individual publications, click the document number under "Web of Science Documents".

6. CNCI for each publication is shown in the table.

The guide InCites shows more information on how to use InCites to do analysis and benchmarking.

Before publication:

  • Title Length and Punctuation: A study suggests that research papers with shorter titles and fewer authors tend to have higher citation counts. The use of colons in the title was associated with increased citations, while question marks were associated with decreased citations.
  • Avoid Country Names: Papers that mention country names in the title, abstract, or keywords tend to receive fewer citations and are published in journals with lower impact factors. Broader studies without country-specific focus are more appealing to the international research community.
  • International Collaborators: Collaborating with international authors expands your research networks, brings in diverse expertise, provides additional resources, and helps overcome language barriers. All these factors could lead to increased citations and broader impact for your research.
  • Consistent Author Name: Using a consistent name format throughout an academic career helps researchers find and index citations accurately.
  • Standardized Institutional Affiliation: Using a standardized institutional affiliation and address without abbreviations improves the clarity, recognition, searchability, and credibility of your publications, maximizing their impact on readers. Refer to Publishing Strategies: Author Affiliations for best practices and examples.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Articles: Optimizing articles for search engines by using targeted keywords in the title, abstract, and keywords section can improve organic visibility and increase the chances of citation.
  • Citation Patterns Analysis: Examining citation patterns in the field can help identify well-cited topics, emerging themes, and article formats that receive high or low citations. This analysis can guide content development strategies. Generally, review articles and content on hot topics tend to attract more readers and citations.
  • High-Impact Journal Publication: Publishing articles in high-impact factor journals can enhance the credibility and acceptance of research, leading to higher citation rates.
  • Preprint Servers: Publishing research results on preprint servers, such as arXiv and bioRxiv before peer-reviewed publication can lead to an early exposure of publications and maximize the time available for them to accrue citations.
  • Open Access Publishing: Publishing in open access journals ensures free accessibility to the research, increasing its visibility and potential for citation.

After publication:

  • Linking to Supporting Data: Making research data openly accessible in a repository and linking it to the published paper increases visibility and the likelihood of citation since users of the datasets often cite the associated article. Studies have shown that papers linked to supporting data in a repository had a 25% increase in citations on average.
  • Author Self-promotion: Sharing e-prints, utilizing social media, and engaging with online platforms allows for wider dissemination and increases the chances of citation.
  • Self-archiving Manuscript: Depositing author's manuscript in open access repositories, like CityU Scholars to increase readership and impact. Visit our Open Access Support Site for the Library's assistance in OA Archiving (Green OA).
  • Up-to-date Professional Web Pages: Making an online CV (e.g. ORCID) and maintaining an updated publication list on your CityU Scholars Researcher Profile, departmental profile, etc. will benefit your professional reputation and audience engagement.

Reference: 
Studies suggest 5 ways to increase citation counts | News | Nature Index
How to increase citations, reach and impact - Editor Resources (taylorandfrancis.com)
7 Tips to Increase Your Citation Score - iLovePhD

Study analyzing 420 million citations show OA outputs are cited by more researchers from more places – Access (librarylearningspace.com)