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Guides & Tutorial, Pao-yue Kong Library, The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong

Research Visibility: Article Impact

Overview

Core citation metrics such as Times Cited (the number of times a paper is cited by others within the same database) can be used to measure article impact. Alternative Metrics or Altmetrics can also be used to measure the immediate impact of a work in non-academic discussion venues such as social media.

This guide outlines:

  1. Find "Times Cited" of an article
  2. Relationship of Altmetrics and Article Level Metrics

Find "Times Cited" of an article

You could track the number of citations by referring to terms like "Times Cited" or "Cited by" on different platforms. The number of citation for an article refers to the number of times it has been cited in other articles within the database. Below lists a few databases that provide citation numbers.

Notes:

  • this is not an exhaustive list
  • the number of citations of the same article may vary across platforms/databases due to differences in database coverage and frequency of updates. Therefore, it is suggested to check across different sources to see the real picture of citation status.

Web of Science

Conduct an Article Search. The citation information is given right to the article title ("Times Cited"). Click on the number to view the citing articles (the articles within Web of Science that have cited this target article). Results can be sorted by number of citations.


► Scopus

Conduct a Document Search. The citation information is given right to the article title ("Cited by"). Click on the number to view the citing articles (the articles within Scopus that have cited this target article). Results can be sorted by number of citations.


► Google Scholar

Conduct a search in Google Scholar, and click on "Cited by" to view the citing articles (the articles within Google Scholar that have cited this target article).


► IEEE/IEE Electronic Library via IEEE Xplore

Conduct a search, and the citation information is given under each article ("Cited by: Papers (#)"). Click on "Papers (#)" to view the citing articles (the articles within IEEE that have cited this target article). Results can be sorted by number of citations. 


► CAJ Full-text Database (中國期刊全文數據庫)

Conduct a search, and the citation information is given right to the article title ("被引頻次"). Click on the number to view the citing articles (the articles within CAJ that have cited this target article).


Relationship between Altmetrics and Article Level Metrics

Alternative metrics or altmetrics have been increasingly used to capture and measure online sharing, mentions, views and downloads in social media. Sometimes, it can be seen as an indicator of impact of an article, but it is important to understand that altmetrics are one of the many article-level metrics used to look at a research. SPARC highlighted the major difference between altmetrics and article-level metrics:

Altmetrics vs. Article-Level Metrics (ALMs)

"As adoption of Article-Level Metrics has increased, the term “Altmetrics” is sometimes used interchangeably with ALMs. It’s important to distinguish between two similar - but not synonymous - terms. ALMs are an attempt to measure impact at the article level. In doing so, ALMs draw from a variety of different data sources, some traditional (e.g., times cited) and some new (e.g., tweets). The attempt to incorporate new data sources to measure the impact of something, whether that something is an article or a journal or an individual scholar, is what defines altmetrics. Altmetrics are about the data sources, not the level of aggregation. ALMs are about the incorporation of altmetrics and traditional data points to define impact at the article level."             

Source: SPARC - Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition