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Research Metrics: Article Metrics

Citation Counts

The best known article level metric is the number of times an article has been cited. You can find these article level metrics in most databases now.

*But* these citation counts are only based on cites from journals indexed in that database.

So, it is best to look in several different databases including some with large coverage such as Web of Science or Scopus.

For suggestions of databases in your subject area see our Library Research Guides.

Basic Instructions:

  1. Locate the article of interest in the database
  2. View the "cited by", "times cited" count, or "citation report"

Web of Science Citation Reports Tutorial

Link out to Web of Science

Cited Reference Searching in Scopus Tutorial

Link out to Scopus

Click on the image below to see the tutorial in a new window:


PLoS Article-Level Metrics

PLoS is the publisher that has really pioneered article-level metrics. Articles published in PLoS journals have these metrics clearly posted:

  • citations,
  • article usage (# of downloads & page views),
  • media and blog coverage about the article,
  • social tools for reference management as well as research recommendation and evaluation
  • PLoS reader evaluation

Open Access Increases Impact

There is now considerable evidence that open access (OA) articles are more highly cited. This is known as the OA Citation Advantage.

The Open Access Citation Advantage Service - maintains a list of studies on this.

To increase the impact of your research, and increase your citations, make your articles OA. There are two ways to do this:

  • publish your articles in an open access journal
  • deposit copies of your articles in an online repositiory (most publishers will allow this - see Sherpa/Romeo for publisher policies)

Learn more about OA on the Open Access guide.