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Citation Research and Impact Metrics: Articles


Introduction to:
Article Assessments
Author Assessments
Country Assessments
Journal Rankings

Altmetric Score

Citation Benchmarking
Citation Counts for: 
Citation Distribution, see Citation Benchmarking

Eigenfactor Score, see Other Journal Rankings
ERIH Plus, see Other Journal Rankings

Field-weighted citation impact (FWCI), see Citation Benchmarking
FWCI, see Citation Benchmarking

Google Scholar (Journal) Metrics, see Other Journal Rankings

Harzing, see Other Journal Rankings

iCite for:
---Articles, see Citation Benchmarking

Journal Impact Factor

NIH ranking, see iCite

Publish or Perish software, see Citation Counts for Authors: Other Sources

RCR, see iCite
Relative Citation Ratio, see iCite

Scimago Country Rank (SCR)
Scimago Journal Rank, see CiteScore 
SJR, see CiteScore
SNIP, see CiteScore​
​Source Normalized Impact per Paper, see CiteScore

Usage Counts

Introduction to Article Assessment

When Eugene Garfield first proposed what became the Science Citation Index (which evolved into the current Web of Science Core Collection database), the purpose was to determine how an article had influenced future research by looking at what recent publications referenced the older article.  Counting the number of citations and using the number for assessment, while never the intention, none the less proved too tempting to resist.   

In the original Science Citation Index, the focus was on the science literature as these fields primarily publish in journals and frequently cite the previously published literature.  Comparing citation counts within this environment at first seemed to work, but as the Index expanded to include journals from other fields in engineering, the social sciences and humanities, the variable publication and citation behavior of these additional fields created a problem.  What was a typical citation count in one area was not necessarily typical in others, consequently comparing raw citation counts across disparate fields became a comparison of "apples to oranges".  

In recent years, metrics are measuring usage and mentions in non-traditional sources such as social media in addition to the traditional citation counting.  Additionally, metrics have been developed to provide a more "apples to apples" comparison by putting a numerical measure into context within a field or journal or some other type of benchmark.  Regardless of the metric, each has its weaknesses and needs to be combined with qualitative assessment; an article may be cited, read, or mentioned for negative reasons as well as positive ones.   Why it is getting noticed and who is noticing it needs to be considered along with the citation count.  

Best Uses: 

  • How to Find a Citation Count to determine how many other documents have cited this one. 
  • Citation Benchmarking to compare an article's performance to similar articles in the same field or journal and from the same timeframe.
  • How to Find a Usage Count to gage interest in the article.
  • How to Find the Altmetric Score to determine mentions in non-traditional sources. 

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