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Researcher Skills Toolkit

Visualising impact

Metrics found in the research metrics databases and tools can be easily downloaded in spreadsheet format and manipulated as required.  These databases also include a variety of simple column, pie and line charts, and tree maps prepopulated with metrics from your search, which can be downloaded and incorporated quickly to visualise your metrics.

Additionally, SciVal, InCites and Altmetric Explorer include the ability to download profiles of visualised metrics in PDF and Word format.

The Scopus Author Profile page includes several graphs presenting publication and citation trends, including:

  • Document and citation trends presented year by year
  • Documents by subject area: presented in a pie chart using Scopus subject categories
  • h-index: Tracked by year
  • Citation count per year
  • Publication count per year
  • Documents by publication type in a pie chart.

Scopus visualisations



The Web of Science Citation Report provides a bar chart of publications and citations per year.

Web of Science visualisation

Via the Analyze Results option, tree maps or bar charts of metrics can be generated and downloaded for:

  • Publication year – number of documents per year
  • Document types (e.g. articles, reviews, case studies, letters)
  • Web of Science subject category
  • Authors
  • Affiliations
  • Publication titles
  • Publishers
  • Funding agencies
  • Grant numbers
  • Open access
Web of Science visualisation



Google Scholar provides a citations per year graph for publications indexed in Google Scholar.

Google Scholar timeline

Tools such as VOSviewer can be used to visualise citation networks based on journals, researchers, or individual publications to discover patterns in terms of co-authorship, co-citation, and co-occurrence of terms in titles and keywords. Data can be imported from several sources (including Scopus, Web of Science, Dimensions, and PubMed)

VOSviewer was developed by researchers at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University in The Netherlands, and is free to download.

Examples of visualisations created using VOSviewer:

Co-authorship networks

This visualisation was created from a download of records from Scopus (CSV format) and maps the names of authors who have co-authored publications.

The size of the circles corresponds to the number of publications each author has published, and the links between the circles show co-authorship of publications

VOSviewer visualisation

Keyword co-occurrence

This visualisation (using the network visualisation option) maps the occurrence of keywords in the records from the same search.

The colour of an item is determined by the cluster to which the item belongs. Lines between items represent links. By default, at most 500 lines are displayed, representing the 500 strongest linked between keywords.

VOSviewer visualisation

It is also possible to drill down within individual clusters.

This map shows keyword occurrence maps to the keyword ‘aged’.

VOSviewer visualisation
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