Research Guides

Research Metrics

This is a guide to the various metrics used to measure research impact.


Author-level metrics attempt to quantify an author's impact, by analyzing (in different ways and over different amounts of time) how frequently their articles are cited.

Pros: These metrics can give a more holistic idea of author impact, across different journal titles.

Cons: These metrics are biased toward more prolific and more established authors. They also are not generalizable across disciplines.

Google Scholar: My Citations

Google Scholar Citations is available at:

It has the following features:

  • Authors can track their own publications (tracking of other authors' works is only possible if they have a profile). 
  • The types of metrics utilized are a simple citation count, h-index, and i10-index.
  • Set up automatic updates to the citation metrics.
  • Manually update your profile.
  • View information on citations for other authors by doing a search for them in Google Scholar and the scholarly metrics information will be listed under the citation information.

The h-index is the primary author-level metric. It represents the number of articles published by an author that have been cited h times or more. For example, an author with an h-index of 15 has published 15 articles that have been cited 15 times or more.

Web of Science: Essential Science Indicators

Essential Science Indicators is available through the "Additional Tools" tab of the Web of Science interface. It offers these features:

  • Citation Rankings for scientists, institutions, countries, and journals.
  • Most Cited Papers, has "highly cited" from the past 10 years and "hot papers" from the past 2 years.
  • Citation Analysis is offered on "baselines" (including averages per field, percentiles, and field rankings) and "research fronts."


An ORCID identifier (free, requires registration) provides a persistent, numerical identifier for authors, and allows them to identify, definitively, their works. ORCID identifiers are particularly helpful for authors with extremely common names, or names from languages with writing systems that are not Latin-based.