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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Enhancing Research Impact

Tracking and Measuring Impact

How can I receive alerts when my work gets cited?

Consider setting up an alert of when people cite your research. What's the value?

  • See how people are using or extending your research;
  • Provide ideas for how you can improve your research or develop new research areas;
  • Enable you to avoid replicating research recently published (in the wake of your publication);
  • Identify other persons working in the same field with whom you can become a co-author.

Instructions for setting up alerts in (just) two databases:

  • Google Scholar: click here and read:  "How do I get notified about new citations to my articles?" and/or
    "How do I get notified about new citations to a specific article?"
  • In Web of Science, you can set up email alerts for citing articles; see Citation Alerts.

Check with your subject librarian to determine what other databases may have this alerting feature, plus what capabilities databases have for setting up an alert (email or RSS) for new literature about a topic.

How can I otherwise identify citations to my work?


How can I assess the overall impact of my research?

The most popular metric is the H-Index. You can use Web of Science to calculate it.. Also, Google Scholar provides H-Index values from within an author profile. To set up a Google Scholar profile, see the information  about Google Scholar  at the Research Identifier page of this guide.

Re. Web of Science's "Author Impact Beamplots": "What’s a beamplot and why should I use one?" – link to training video and link to paper "Every citation needs context".

Other information and resources:  

How do I track mentions of my work in social media?

Historically, the focus on assessing the research impact of journal articles has been on the number of times cited by published resources such as journal articles. The advent of social media has provided an additional way to promote your work and enabled new ways to assess the impact of research: "altmetrics".

See  "Free Altmetrics Tools" by scrolling down Research Impact from Univ. of Toronto. Also on this webpage, see the sections about "Why Altmetrics?" and about "Article Level Metrics". See also Measuring Research Impact: Altmetrics  from Univ of Southampton (including the boxes about strengths and weaknesses of Altmetrics).

Other Resources:

How do I measure a book's impact?

You can use Google Scholar or Web of Science to determine how many times a book has been cited. (For assistance with Web of Science, which actually includes coverage of social sciences and humanities as well as science, check with your librarian.)

For a discussion about how to measure a book's impact, see article "The Complexity of Measuring the Impact of Books".

Is there a way to monitor trends and high impact individuals, institutions, publications, and countries in a particular field?

"Essential Science Indicators" can be relevant to your own work in various ways. From this overview : "Essential Science Indicators℠ reveals emerging science trends as well as influential individuals, institutions, papers, journals, and countries in your field of research." To see this tool, go to Web of Science and look for this resource in the bar at the very top.

Some other resources: guide and recorded training.