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Measuring and Increasing Your Research Impact

Engineering Librarian & CAPLA Liaison

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Paula C Johnson
Main Library A403

Citation Counts

Citation counts measure the impact of a publication or author by counting the number of times either is cited by other works.  Although this sounds simple, it is complicated by the fact that there is no single citation analysis source that covers all publications and their cited references.  Additionally, some disciplines and publications are covered in much more depth than others.This section introduces the sources available to the UA community for performing citation analysis. 

Apart from use in evaluating a researcher or research group's impact, citation searching and analysis may be used to determine who has influenced areas of research (who are the "major players"), what are the emerging areas of research, and who might be potential collaborators.

To Note: Web of Science has an alerting system that you may set up to notify you whenever one of your research outputs that is indexed in WoS gets cited. See the Tutorials page of this guide for instruction in setting up an alert.

Other measures of research impact and esteem

The following factors may provide additional evidence of research impact and/or research capacity. These measures may be relevant for competitive grant applications and academic promotions.

  • Conference Publications
  • International engagement
  • Influence on industry/government/public policy/community/cultural organizations
  • Successfully acquired research grants
  • Successfully completed research projects
  • Awards and Prizes
  • Holdings in Libraries
  • Partnerships
  • Editorships
  • Research Fellowships
  • Membership of Learned Academy
  • Membership of Statutory, Accrediting, etc. Committee
  • Patents
  • Research Commercialization Income - Technology transfer

Author Disambiguation

[this box repeated elsewhere in the guide, as it has high importance]  You wnat to get credit for all your works (and just your works) and getting an ORCID identifier will assist you in this.

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a non-proprietary, international ID that provides you with a persistent digital identifier that disambiguates you from every other researcher. It is strategically important because it enables all databases to automatically link journal articles, books, standards, datasets and more to you by your ORCID. At ORCID you can create a profile, link it to your ResearchID and/or import publications from a crossref search. Further functionality is being developed.

Go to ORCID, register for an ORCID ID (under "for researchers") and complete your profile and while doing so, click “Add Works” to import your publication details.

Select the privacy settings  you prefer before logging out.

More about the ORCID registry

Web of Science offers a complementary means for establishing your own unique identifier - ResearcherID (Thomson Reuters). Many researchers link the two identifiers.  A ResearcherID is useful in that much citation analysis for those in the STEM fields can be done within Web of Science. For more information about setting up a ResearcherID in Web of Knowledge, go to the ResearcherID home page. 

To Note: ORCID is being widely adopted; ADS (NASA Astrophysics Data System) is collaborating with ORCID to facilitate the article claiming process. Also, many journals and publishers are or will soon require authors to include their ORCID with their submission.