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Evaluating Authors, Articles, and Journals

Information about assessing researchers, publications, and journals and increasing the impact of your scholarship.

Article Metrics


Article Level Impact

  • Citation Counts
    • Counts of citations by article or data set are widely available from a variety of sources. Counts will likely vary due to indexing differences between different sources and databases. A variation to a static citation count includes Field Weighted Citation Impact (Scopus). An advantage of citations is their ubiquity and ease, however they are slow to occur and may not always indicate positive engagement (see: The Citation Typing Ontology).


  • Alternative Metrics
    • The term "altmetrics" (alternative metrics) is used to describe approaches to measure the impact of scholarship by using social media tools and alternative sources of data to measure the importance of scholarly output, such as likes, Tweets, shares, downloads, and mentions in policy documents or news stories. Altmetrics offer a different means to understanding engagement with scholarly work, especially outside of academia. They may be a good option for early career researchers as they typically begin accumulating quicker than citations, however altmetrics vary considerably in their usefulness and reliability.

PlumX Metrics on the UTHSC Digital Commons Repository


Additional Resources

  • iCite is created by the Office of Portfolio Analysis (OPA) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). It's a web application that provides a panel of bibliometric information for scientific publications within a defined analysis group. More information from the iCite User Guide
  • PlumX is an alternative metric (altmetric) tracker from Elsevier. This web application runs within the sidebar of Scopus article and abstract pages, on the UTHSC Digital Commons, and various other article indexes. It displays all of the social or mainstream media mentions gathered for a particular paper as well as reader counts on popular reference managers (e.g., CiteULike and Mendeley).
  • PLoS Article Level Metrics (ALM) is a service provided by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) for all authors of works published in PLoS journals.
  • Publish or Perish  - From, a well-known resource in scholarly publishing, this software tool calculates numerous research metrics based on Google Scholar data.
  • The Altmetric bookmarklet is another alternative metric tracker offered by Altmetric (company). They track slightly different sources than PlumX, and since it is an add-on to your browser it works across most article indexes.
  • Scite is a tool which offers a quantitative and qualitative insight into how scientific publications cite each other. It further attempts to catalog whether each citation offers supporting or disputing evidence of the cited claims in the publication of interest, or simply mentions it.