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Publication Metrics

This guide provides an overview to authors on various metrics designed to measure scholarly research outputs at the author, journal, and article level.

Author Level Metrics

Author level metrics are quantitative measures that highlight the impact of an individual author typically through citation. Author level metrics are calculated based on various author profile systems. The following table compares major features across common author profile platforms.

Author Profile System Features Scope Required for grants or publication?
ORCID Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) is a nonproprietary free alphanumeric code to uniquely identify academic authors, similar to an ISBN. It's especially helpful for authors with common last names or those who have changed names to collate your publications. This author profile system is run by a nonprofit member organization. The ORCID API can retrieve your work automatically from many other resources or can be entered manually. You can include any authored work including grants regardless of publisher or platform. Yes
Google Scholar Tracks your publications and citation counts across many publishers. Allows you to highlight and link to co-author profiles. Features prominently in Google search results for your name and is widely used. Citation counts are retrieved from the Google Scholar Index. Google Scholar web crawlers include most publishers and institutional repositories across all disciplines, but a published list is not available to the public. No
Scopus Tracks your publications and citation counts from Scopus indexed sources. Create visualizations of your research impact and compare yourself to other scholars. Citation counts are only from other materials indexed in the Scopus database.The Scopus database includes over 24,000 journals and select conferences and book series from various publishers primarily in the health sciences, social sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences. No
Web of Science Researcher Profile (formerly Publons) Tracks your publications, citation counts, and peer-reviewed conducted from journals and books indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection. You can verify and publish peer reviews conducted through your profile. Citation counts are only from other materials indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection of over 20,000 publications. No



ORCIDs support diversity and improve the research community

Even if you have a unique name, are cisgendered, never expect a name change for marriage or divorce, and do not plan to change careers you can still sign up for and use your ORCID because it makes research discovery better. Search systems like PubMed and JSTOR use identifiers like ORCID to improve their search functions and organize data. The more scholars use ORCID, the more accurate online search will be for all researchers.

Google Scholar

What is an author h-index?

An h-index tells you how many publications have been cited at least "h" times. It was designed to gauge overall research impact and to de-emphasize high citation count publications. It's displayed in 5-year and 10-year increments on your Google Scholar profile page. In this example, this researcher has 6 publications that have each been cited at least 6 times.

h-index chart screenshot


Scopus Author Profiles display subject areas, documents by author, total citations, h-index, co-authors, and top contributed to topics for any items indexed in the Scopus database.

John Price at CSUDH Author Profile preview with topics and citation counts



Web of Science Researcher Profile (formerly Publons)

Web of Science Research Profiles are a great resource to use if you'd like to highlight your journal editing and peer-review contributions. Peer-reviews are verified and open-reviews can be shared on the platform. Some journals integrate reviews automatically with the Web of Science Researcher Profile platform and it integrates with ORCID.

screenshot of peer review profile of Carolyn Caffrey as an example of Web of Science Researcher Profiles


After completing a peer-review, upload the journal and manuscript information to your profile. You can choose to keep the review content and manuscript title private. You can then have your review verified for your profile by forwarding the "Thank you for your review" email with a unique code Web of Science assigns your profile.