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Syracuse University Libraries

Research Metrics

Helping the researcher to navigate metrics

Introduction: Article-level Metrics

Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) are...approaches to quantifying the reach and impact of published research. It is...possible to track different markers of an article’s reach, beyond just citations, to include the impact of of the work of individual authors of the articles or the articles in total. ALMs seek to sources (sometimes referred to as “altmetrics”) along with traditional measures to present a richer picture of how an individual article is being discussed, shared, and used.

Source: SPARC, Article Level Metrics


Note on Citation Analysis

Citation analysis is a quantifiable measure of academic output. Users need to be aware of the limitations and incongruities of citation metrics. Library subscription databases and Google Scholar do not correct errors in citing papers. This means that one paper may be cited many different ways and appear as separate entries in these tools. Also, author and institutional naming inconsistencies complicate these analyses. Comparisons between these tools should be avoided. The databases use different sources to generate data and some are more comprehensive than others.

Google Scholar

Your Google Scholar profile will include a list of the articles you've entered, with "cited by" links for each of them. Google Scholar will display a graph of your citation activity and calculate your total number of citations, h-index, and i10-index. The profile also includes a "recent" version of those three metrics, based on activity in the last five years. You can make your profile private or public

Please note that Google Scholar is just one source for citations. Researchers in the basic sciences, for example, often utilize Scopus and Web of Science (subscription databases available from SU Libraries) in addition to Google Scholar (free). Each scope different bodies of literature, so your citation counts will likely be different in each. Be aware that Google Scholar citation counts will expand and contract over time; since this is crawling web content, the change reflects additions and detractions of content on the web. It's best to check with peers in your discipline or the chair of your department in order to establish your best course of action. Some disciplines prefer to use Google Scholar because it not only captures many traditional publications, but also shows impact in grey literature, such as conference papers, technical reports, patents, etc. that may not be included in either Scopus or Web of Science.

To set up your profile in Google Scholar, follow the steps below. (Setup FAQ)

  • Go to
  • Click My Profile at the top. Either log into your Google account or create a new one.
  • You will be prompted to enter some brief biographical information. Then, you can add your articles and decide how to handle updates. Your profile is private by default. You can opt to make it public on your profile page. 


How to perform a Cited Reference Search for an author:

  1. Select 'Author search' tab
  2. Enter author's name in the required format (don't select exact matches unless absolutely necessary).
  3. You will get an 'Authors Results' page.  Scopus groups authors by affiliations.  You still need to view each article to make certain you have the correct author and the correct papers (steps 4-6).
  4. Select correct author(s)
  5. Click the number under the documents tab; this is hyperlinked.
  6. Look through the documents and select the documents correctly attributable to the author.
  7. Select 'View citation overview' - change the date range, if desired.  This data can be saved or downloaded. 

Web of Science

To search an author in Web of Science,

  • start with the Author Search, adding name and initial(s) as indicated, then add Research Domain if relevant,and select the organization.
  • At the results page, click on Create Citation Report. This report will generate an h-index, total number of publications, sum of times cited, and citing articles in both a text and graphical format. The report also includes a breakdown of each publication, cites per year, and average citations of that publication per year. Caveat: this data is extracted from Web of Science publications, so it is recommended to also use one of the other tools in this section for a more comprehensive view of an author's work.
  • The report can be exported by saving to an Excel or text file.

Adapted with permission from the University of Oklahoma Research Impact Metrics research guide.

Additional Resources

Article-Level Metrics: A SPARC Primer
SPARC believes that ALMs have the potential to help transform the reserach evaluation process, and has produced a guide to understanding the basics of Article-Level Metrics that explores the definition, application, opportunities and challenges presented by ALMs. This primer also delves into the connection of ALM’s to the Open Access environment, and their potential application in the research evaluation and tenure and promotion processes.
Download SPARC’s ALM Primer

Google Scholar Metrics 
Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications, to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research.
Overview of Google Scholar Metrics