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6. Measure Impact: Article impact metrics

Why citation analysis is useful

You can find out the impact of an article, if that article has been cited.  Only c50% of articles are cited in another article   

You can check who is citing an article and reconstruct the development of ideas through time 

You can also check how many times all the articles from an author has been cited

You can evaluate how important an article is cited by a high number of citations but you cannot tell the reasons why the article is cited  

Just remember that

  • The number of times a paper is cited is not a measure of its actual quality.

  • Some tools that measure the impact data do not incorporate books.

  • Certain disciplines have low numbers of journals and usage.

  • One should compare journals or researchers within the same discipline.

  • Review articles are cited more often and can change results.

  • Self-citing may skew results. Authors often cite their own work but these can usually be excluded from the results 

Measuring the impact of an article : citation analysis

Once an article is published, different online tools keep track of the number of times this article is cited by other academic authors in their own articles 

The number of times an article is cited can indicate how important it is in a particular field of study, or how controversial it is, or just how popular the topic is 

Impact factor is useful but it should not be the only criteria used to evaluate the impact of the author 

Please note that 

  • Articles in the medical field are cited the most
  • Many articles are never cited. 
  • Science articles also tend to have high rates of citation
  • An article on molecular genetics has been cited 25000 times 
  • Humanities and Social Science articles are cited the least 
  • Topics of regional interest may not be cited as many times as articles of world impact
  • Self citations may affect the total number of citations recorded 
  • Some articles are cited soon after the original publication, others may not be cited for a further five or ten years 


Citation analysis is a useful tool

To find out how much impact a particular article has had, by showing which other authors based some work upon it or cited it as an example within their own papers.

To find out more about a field or topic; i.e. by reading the papers that cite a seminal work in that area.

To determine how much impact a particular author has had by looking at his/her total number of citations.

Who to Contact


Phone: +6433693881
Internal Phone: 93881

To maximise the number of citations

No system collects all the citations for each article

To get a comprehensive list of citations you will need to search multiple databases - particularly Scopus, and Google Scholar 

Search for citations to individual articles across each  database

Export citations into EndNote

Remove duplicate citations

The list remaining should be of greater accuracy than citation rates for an article based on one database 

Citation data is recorded for each article published by the following databases

Other databases will include citation data but only from articles published by that publisher