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Measuring Your Impact: Citation Analysis

Overview of h-index, Eigenfactor, Impact Factor (IF), Journal Citation Reports, Citation Analysis, and other tools.

Citation Analysis

Citation analysis is the study of the impact and assumed quality of an article, an author, or an institution based on the number of times other authors cite, or mention it in their work.

Why Use it?

  • To find out how much impact a specific article has had by looking at the number of times the article has been cited by others.
  • To find out more about a field or topic. For example: reading the papers that have cited a seminal work in a particular area
  • To determine how much impact a particular author has had by looking at the number of times their work has been cited by others

Comparing Citation Anaylsis

Comparing Citation Analysis Sources

Here is a quick summary of what to expect from the three best known citation analysis tools.


  Web of Science Scopus Google Scholar
Subject Focus
  • Science Citation Index
  • Social Science Citation Index
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
  • Health Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Life Sciences
Theoretically, all disciplines
  • Over 12,000 peer-reviewed journals
  • Over 1,300 open access journals
  • 30,000 books with 10,000 added annually
  • Over 2.6 M chemical compounds and 1 M chemical reactions
  • 148,000 conference titles with 12,000 added annually
  • Over 21,500 peer-reviewed journals
  • Over 360 trade publications
  • Over 4,200 open access journals
  • Over 120,000 book titles
  • Over 7.2 M conference papers
  • Over 27 M patent records
  • Books from Google Books
  • Dissertations
  • Peer-reviewed articles
  • Patents
  • Case law
  • Trade journals
  • Slide presentations
  • Gray literature
  • Newsletters
  • Syllabi (if cited by scholarly articles)
Time Span Some journals from 1900 Some journals from the 1820s Some citations as far back as the 1660s and 1670s
Updated Weekly Daily Unknown but generally quick
  • Excellent search limits by discipline
  • The most well-known and most used resource for citation analysis
  • Citation analysis goes back farther than Scopus
  • Better open access journal coverage
  • Better foreign language coverage
  • Better Social Sciences & Arts/Humanities coverage
  • Excellent resource for finding cited references
  • It's free
  • May find more obscure references
  • Weaker Arts/Humanities & Social Sciences content than Scopus
  • Cannot search by date any earlier than 1960
  • Too much irrelevant content in search results
  • Few options for sorting results





More Information

If you have more questions about metrics and assessment contact:

Charlotte Bhasin or Mario Scarcipino

If you have questions about databases or where to publish contact:

Michelle Kraft or Matt Weaver

Where To Publish

The library recommends using these aids to determine the best place to publish your research.