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The University of Iowa Libraries

The University of Iowa Libraries


Scholarly Impact: Author Metrics

What are Author Metrics?

Author metrics allow you to determine the influence and productivity of an author or researcher.  An author's impact is determined by many factors, including how often they are cited and in what types of journals they are cited.  There are also non-traditional factors, including links to author's works on websites, types of press choosing to publish an author's work, and what repositories contain copies of an author's work. 

Author metrics are available in Scopus and Google Scholar. Please Ask a Librarian if you need help determining how to calculate and understand your author metrics.

Cited Reference Search

To determine how many times an author has been cited in other published works, try either Web of ScienceScopus, or Google Scholar
For instructions, see the 
Cited Reference Search help sheet form Hardin Library. 

Determining an Author's Impact

h-Index  Measures the productivity and impact of a scholar’s published work, using the author’s most cited articles and the number of citations they have received in other publications.  For more information on the strengths and disadvantages of this measurement, see One h-Index to Rule them All? Video on citation reports and h-Index.

Harzing's Publish or Perish  The software program uses Google Scholar to retrieve and analyze academic citations to present statistics on citations, journal metrics, and author metrics.

See also: Altmetrics.

sample h-index

example of an author's h-index

More on h-Index

Determining h-index

  • h-indices can be found on the Citation Report page after an author search in Web of Science. For details, view this video from from Thomson Reuters (Web of Science) 
  • h-indices can also be found on the Citation overview page after an author search in Scopus. For details, visit the Help page from Elsevier (Scopus)
  • You can also use Google Scholar Citations to calculate your own h-index. Sign up for a free account. Step-by-steps instructions are available after you log in. Caution: ​Google Scholar has been noted  to produce inflated numbers because of its inclusion of non-scholarly content.

Articles Discussing limitations of h-index

  • Bletsas, A. & Sahalos, J.N. (2009).  Hirsch index rankings require scaling and higher moment.  Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(12), 2577-2586. [HawkID log in require for fulltext article access]
  • García-Pérez, M.A.  (2011).  Strange attractors in the Web of Science database.  Journal of Informetrics, 5(1), 214-218.
  • Jacsó, P. (2008).  Testing the calculation of a realistic h-index in Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science for F.W. Lancaster.  Library Trends, 56(4), 784-815.
  • Jiang, L., Sanderson, M., Willett, P., Norris, M., & Oppenheim, C. (2010).  Ranking of library and information science researchers: Comparison of data sources for correlating citation data, and expert judgments.  Journal of Informetrics, 4(4), 554-563.

Your Author Profile

Take charge of your author metrics!  This will allow you to keep track of your cited references and other metrics like your h-index.

ORCID  "Provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher." Learn more about ORCID at The University of Iowa.

Google Scholar Citations Includes FAQs about claiming and setting up an author profile in Google Scholar. GS Citations example.

Scopus Author Profiles Tutorials on claiming and managing an author profile in Scopus.

Institutional Metrics