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Journal impact, article level metrics, altmetrics, and author level metrics

Author Level metrics

Author level metrics are quantitative measures that highlight the impact of an individual author through citation.

When would I need to find author level metrics? If you’re applying for a grant or preparing for a promotion including your own metrics compared to others in your field can be persuasive to reviewers.

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Author Level Metrics

Web of Science Author Citation Reports

In Web of Science, the author search function can be used to create a report of the author's overall citation counts and other metrics.

The Author Search function prompts you to enter in the Last Name and a first initial. If there may be multiple initials or variants, the * can be used as a wildcard to find all of them. For example, Smith, J* will find JA Smith JB Smith, J Smith, etc.

Depending on how common the name is you may want to add in a field of research or an institution. Watch out for variants --- CSUDH might appear as Cal State Dominguez Hills and CSU Dominguez Hills.

Once you have search results that represent the author you're searching for you can run a citation report.

By default the last 20 years are displayed and sources are organized by Times Cited - highest to lowest.


Article Level Metrics

Altmetrics is used to refer to "alternative metrics" or "article-level metrics." Altmetrics attempts to fill a gap in traditional metrics by using social media mentions, link backs, blogs, news outlet coverage, and other web metrics to measure the attention given to a particular work. Altmetrics are especially well suited to datasets and types of scholarly work not covered by traditional metrics. As with other metrics, altmetrics don't necessarily tell you anything about the quality of the individual publication. It's always best to review the publication yourself and investigate mentions as need be.

Where to Find Article Level Metrics?

Some article level metrics are incorporated onto individual publisher and journal pages, such as Public Library of Science (PLoS) publications

Another option is to use a tool like, Altmetric Bookmarklet in Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. Clicking the bookmarklet when looking at an article, will display a colorful wheel containing the Altmetric Attention Score and additional information about where it was mentioned.

  • The bookmarklet only works on pages containing a DOI
  • It only supports publishers who embed Google Scholar friendly citation metadata on their pages by default
  • Twitter mentions are only available for articles published since July 2011

Creative Commons License Some content on this guide is from Spreading Your Impact Research Guide at USC and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. It has been adapted and added to by Dana Ospina and Carolyn Caffrey Gardner.