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Research impact for Education: a self-help guide

Finding publication metrics

There are multiple sources for finding metrics on traditional research outputs.   This table provides guidance on a range of sources.  The key data sources and applicable metrics differs from discipline to discipline. For definitions of these metrics, see Glossary.  To help you evaluate available metrics to build your specific case, use the Metrics Toolkit.

Data sources for publication metrics
Web of Science

Web of Science (owned by Clarivate Analytics) Core Collection provides access to content in over 20,000 journals, including Open Access and conference proceedings. 

Item-level metrics for publications:

  • Times Cited
  • Highly Cited papers
  • Hot papers

Scopus (owned by Elsevier) provides access to over 23, 700 peer-reviewed journals (including Open Access journals), 166000 books and conference papers in the Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.

Item-level metrics for publications:

  • Citations
  • Field-weighted citation impact (citation benchmarking)
  • PlumX metrics
  • Citescore; SJR; SNIP
Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.

** There is a caveat to using Google Scholar data for research evaluation. Data accuracy for benchmarking purposes cannot be assured. E.g., comparable researchers may not have implemented publication date corrections and may use different labels and field categorisation.

Pick from these metrics to demonstrate the scholarly impact/relevance of publications:

  • Citations

Elements is the University of Melbourne’s Publication Management System.

Metrics included are:

  • Citation count - Web of Science
  • Citation count - Scopus
  • Altmetric score - Altmetric Explorer for Institutions
  • SNIP Journal Indicator
  • SJR Journal Indicator
Minerva Access

Minerva Access is the University of Melbourne’s Institutional Repository. It collects, preserves and showcases the intellectual output of staff and students of the University of Melbourne.

Available metrics:

  • Usage statistics for each item in the repository
  • Foot of relevant pages – see data on number of views
  • Number of PDF downloads
  • Displayed by month or by year
Altmetric Explorer

Altmetric (owned by Digital Science) captures mentions of scholarly output in tweets, blog posts, news stories and other content.

Monitor, search and measure conversations about your publications and compare them against the work of similar academics or in similar fields of research.

  • Altmetric Score
  • Dimensions Citations
  • News mentions
  • Blog mentions
  • Policy mentions
  • Patent mentions
  • Twitter mentions
  • Wikipedia mentions
  • Syllabi mentions



Dimensions (owned by Digital Science) brings together links to research from a large number of external partners and publishers.

  • Citations
  • Relative Citation Ratio (RCR)
  • Field Citation Ratio (FCR)
  • Altmetric Score

Similar to Altmetric, PlumX (commercial, owned by Elsevier) metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with research outputs. Data is integrated into the results from EBSCO databases and Scopus search results and some publisher inferfaces.

Quick tip: Try adding a DOI to to see a free, limited set of alt-metrics about a paper from Plum Analytics. 


ERIC provides coverage of journal articles, conferences, meetings, government documents, theses, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, books and monographs.

It helps with finding additional citation counts for publications perhaps not covered in Web of Science or Scopus. ERIC (Proquest) provides cited by counts and ERIC (Ebscohost) integrated PlumX data.



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