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University of Newcastle Library guides

Research Impact and Analysis:  Publication-level impact

Tracking citations

Tracking citations

Citation indexes track citations authors include in the reference lists of their publications. 

Many databases include citation count data. However, no single database will index all publications by an individual researcher. When searching for citation data it is recommended that you check at the least Scopus and Web of Science Citation Indexes.

Article level metrics

Article level metrics

Article level metrics can provide details about the usage of publications, such as the number of:

  • clicks or views online
  • downloads
  • saves or bookmarks into online reference management services such as Mendeley and CiteULike
  • tweets, blog posts, likes, bookmarks, etc. in social media.

Strengths of altmetrics:
  • SPEED - Altmetrics can accumulate more quickly than traditional metrics such as citations.
  • RANGE - Altmetrics can be gathered for many types of research output, not just scholarly articles.
  • GRANULARITY - Altmetrics can provide metrics at the article, rather than journal level, such as journal impact factors.
  • DETAIL - Altmetrics can give a fuller picture of research impact using many indicators, not just citations.
  • NON-ACADEMIC - Altmetrics can measure impact outside the academic word, where people may use but not cite research.
  • SHARING - If researchers get credit for a wider range of research outputs, such as data, it could motivate further sharing.
Weaknesses of altmetrics:
  • STANDARDS - There are a lack of standards for altmetrics.
  • UNREGULATED - Altmetrics could be manipulated or gamed.
  • RELIABILITY - Altmetrics may indicate popularity with the general public rather quality research.
  • TIME - There is no single widely used rating or score and altmetrics can be time consuming to gather.
  • DIFFICULTY - Altmetrics can be difficult to collect, for example bloggers or tweeters may not use unique identifiers for articles.
  • OVERLOAD - There are many different metrics and providers to choose from and it can be hard to determine which are relevant.
  • ACCEPTANCE - Many funders and institutions use traditional metrics to measure research impact.
  • CONTEXT - Use of online tools may differ by discipline, geographic region, and over time, making altmetrics difficult to interpret. 


Altmetrics can be found:

Article impact @ UON

Article impact @ UON

Citation counts from Scopus, Web of Science and Europe PMC, as well as Altmetrics scores are included in NURO for University of Newcastle RHD students, researchers and conjoint staff.

These counts can also be displayed on your University researcher profiles - login to Nexus to activate.

Citation Alerts

Keeping track of who's citing your research

Receive email alerts on who is citing your research:‚Äč

Web of Science: How to do a Cited Reference Search

Web of Science: How to do a cited reference search

Tips for improving your Altmetric scores

Tips for improving your Altmetrics scores

Snowball Metrics

Snowball Metrics

The Snowball Metrics Project is a collaboration between universities (with input from Australian universities) which aims to establish a set of common metrics to measure university research inputs, processes and outputs.