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Assessing Your Research Impact

Capturing your Research Profile

The h-index score is a commonly used indicator of research output which reflects both the number of publications and the distribution of citations to those publications.  A h index can be created for a single author or a research unit. The index is only useful in comparing scientists working within the same field as citation conventions differ substantially between disciplines. 

An author with an index of h has published h papers each of which has been cited by papers at least h times.

A h index can be determined manually but automatic calculators are also available in Scopus and Web of Science.  Your h index is likely to differ depending on the citation tool you use as indexing coverage varies between tools and therefore your publication and citation profile in each is likely to be different.

The following practices can make capturing your research profile easier in the long run:

  • When publishing always use the same institutional name variant. Always use the designate university name National University of Ireland Galway when submitting your manuscript for publication
  • When publishing always use the same name variant. Problems can arise
    • Where authors alternate between the English and Irish versions of their name
    • Where authors alternate between using middle initials and/or shortened versions of their firstnames
    • Where female authors marry and switch to publishing under their married name
  • Create a ResearcherID identifier for Web of Science
  • Register for an ORCID iD and link this to your publications on Scopus and to your Web of Science ResearcherID – this will help you to counteract any papers being assigned to others with similar names by the Scopus author id algorithm
  • You may link your publication list on Scopus and Web of Science to your ORCID id. See links below for details including short video of how to integrate author ID's with ORCID.
    • Scopus (Scopus author ID) includes a 5 minute video with step by step instructions
    • ResearcherID (Web of Science author ID) includes a pdf and a 4 minute tutorial with step by step instructions
  • Once you have updated your ORCID profile, you then include your ORCID id on future journal submissions and keep your publication list updated on Scopus and Web of Science.  
  • See ORCID's import works page on how to import research output from other sources to your ORCID profile.
  • For more information see Haak, Laurel L. et al. 2012. "ORCID: a system to uniquely identify reesearchers" Learned Publishing 25(4): 259-64.

Citation Analysis

Citation analysis involves counting how many times a paper or researcher is cited by other scholars in the field. This performance measure assumes that influential scientists and important works are cited more often than others.

View this short tutorial on creating a Citation Report on Web of Science

Points to remember when undertaking a citation analysis

  • Limited number of articles: The ISI’s citation databases indexes a limited number of peer-reviewed journal titles excluding citations from many books and conference proceedings, therefore your citation analysis for a particular field or author may not be comprehensive
  • Same name authors: also known as “homographs” – it may be difficult to separate citations to two unrelated scientists who happen to share the same last name and first initial.
  • Cronyism: friends or colleagues may reciprocally cite each other to mutually build their citation counts


Further Information

Measuring your Research Impact

  • The MyRI interactive online tutorial, developed by  four Irish academic libraries (DCU, UCD, NUIM, DIT), provides a step by step guide to measuring research impact  with a range of citation analysis tools, including Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar Citations and Google Scholar (with Publish or Perish software).
  • For more information on Publish or Perish developed by Anne-Wil Harzing, see her website
  • View a recording of a presentation by Anne-Wil Harzing at the London School of Economics “From publication to impact: Using Google Scholar and Publish or Perish to measure research impact
Rosie Dunne

Dunne, Rosie

Research Support Librarian
Tel: +353 91495959