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Research Impact

Tools and support to assist with measuring research.

Book impact

Metrics for the research impact of books rely on the same citation indexes as metrics for journal articles. They can also be reflected in the number of academic library holdings, and in reviews.

Key Tools

In theory, cited-reference searching is possible in any full-text database of books or articles, as you can search the references and bibliographies. Full-text databases may have search options such as ReferencesAll Fields or All Text.

Tip: search for titles as "a phrase". Some databases index all of the cited references in the articles which they abstract. Some may provide an option to limit your search to the cited references. 

Use these tools to search across the full text of electronic books to find citations within books. This works most effectively if you search for citations of books or articles which have unique author names and/or titles.

  • Google Scholar - search for  "book title" in quotation marks and author's family name. Click on "cited by" to see which publications have cited the book. This search will retrieve book reviews, journal articles or conference papers that reference the book.
  • Google Books - search with quotes around the book title and author's last name. Books that mention this book will come up in the results. Use the Search Inside feature to find specific pages.

eBook packages - it is usually necessary to undertake two searches. The first to identify the books that contain your search terms. The second to search within specific books to find the reference lists/pages where the search terms appear.

Use these catalogues to find out how many libraries hold your book.

Other measures of impact, reach or esteem you may consider:

  • Listing on university or school reading lists.
  • ‘Best seller’ lists
  • Awards received 
  • Prestige of the publisher
  • Copies sold
  • Editions
  • Translations
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