Maximizing the visibility and impact of your published research
Measuring the inter-and cross-disciplinary impact of your published research can be a valuable indication of the achievement of both an individual or unit and can play a role in a number of decision making processes including:
Identifying Research Trends including:
- Impact: Examine the dispersion of cited and citing works both within and across disciplines and geographic boundaries to capture the total impact of research collaboration and investment
- Time: Consider the longitudinal impact and value of publications i.e. the frequency and distribution both publication output and citation impact over time
- Prestige: Capture the scope and prestige of the publication in which the unit publishes
- Funding and Grant Applications: profile performance and impact to demonstrate the track-record of a research entity.
Citation analysis (or bibliometrics) can provide valuable data for determining the impact of published research.
- This is the discipline of measuring the performance of a researcher, a collection of articles, a journal, a research discipline or an institution.
- This process involves the study of patterns of authorship, publication, and literature use to determine trends in output and citation impact.
When an article is submitted for publication, citation analytics features (available via many business and multi-disciplinary databases), enables you to monopolise on key components for mining important metric-based quantitative data to measure impact. These include:
- Authors’ names: significant in determining who the key players are in the field of research
- Institutional addresses: institutional affiliation data (including affiliate institute name and address) assigned to a publication is commonly captured to track citation counts, one of a number of criteria used to rank institutional performance and subsequently published in global university ranking tables
- The Journal in which you publish: this is not only an indication of the field of expertise but may also be an implicit measure of the prestige of accepted papers
- References: the references included in a paper can be a highly effective way of tracking citation patterns and impact both within and across a discipline
- Keywords and concepts: online publishing and dissemination is changing the way researchers write articles. To be spotted, articles must be structured with search engines in mind – search engine optimization (see below).
- Impact: Publish in high impact journals. Use the Journal Citation Reports database (available online via the Library) to find out which journals have the highest impact in your field
- Visibility: Make it easy for others to access your work by publishing in an Open Access journal and/or maximize the exposure of your publications by depositing open access versions in Spectrum, Concordia University’s Institutional Research Repository. Papers in Spectrum are indexed by indexed by Google Scholar, potentially increasing your citation impact!
- Search engine optimization: Online publishing and dissemination is changing the way researchers write articles. To be spotted, articles must be structured with search engines in mind.
- Include important keywords in your abstract and title (the text fields most usually searched and read).
- Avoid unnecessarily flowery language if possible.
- Get counted: When publishing always use the same name variant. Your publication impact profile (particularly for journal articles) may be misrepresented when:
- Authors alternate between using middle initials and/or shortened versions of their first names.
- You publish under multiple names e.g. female authors marry and switch to publishing under their married name
- Your papers are difficult to identify from those by authors with a similar name in citation databases.
- Use a constant name syntax when publishing where possible
- Consider creating a unique ResearcherID identifier for Web of Science. This can include papers indexed in the Web of Science as well as other publications which can be uploaded to your ResearcherID profile
- Check your publication profile in the main citation indices like Web of Science which enables you to set up a citation tracking alert so that you are notified when your work is cited and by whom.
- When publishing always use the same institutional name variant, including the complete University address when submitting your manuscript for publication, as the address of affiliation field is often used to retrieve publication outputs.
Choosing the right tool for the job.
What are you measuring?
Using Web of Science
Web of Science is made up of three citation indices owned by Thomson Scientific:
- Science Citation Index
- Social Sciences Citation Index
- Arts & Humanities Citation Index.
Within Web of Science, the ‘Author’ field on the search page enables you to determine the citation activity to an authors publication. You can also use ‘Author Finder’ to identify a particular author. Running an ‘author’ search can be used to create a list of works they have written. Once you have generated a list of publications by particular author you can generate a citation report to view graphs and summary data for results sets of 10,000 or fewer depicting the distribution of items by:
- When they were published
- When the items were cited
- Number of citations per year (over a 5-year period)
- Average number of citations (over a 5-year period)
- The h-index - a useful bibliometric measure in determining a researcher’s relative impact in his/her discipline e.g. an h-index of 26 means that a researcher has published 26 papers that have been cited at least 26 times each.
Note: The h-index is only meaningful when compared to others within the same discipline area. Researchers in one field may have very different h-indices than researchers in another.
- View Thomson Scientific’s brief audio demo Citation Reports in the Web of Science (5 mins) http://www.brainshark.com/brainshark/vu/view.asp?pi=624315825
- View Thomson Scientific’s brief demo in Cited Reference Searching http://science.thomsonreuters.com/tutorials/citedreference/crs1.htm
- No citation index will give you a complete citation count. Web of Science provides only a partial coverage. By searching a number of citation indices you can gain a better idea of the actual citation count for a particular article.
Google Scholar is the scholarly arm of Google. It contains material across many disciplines and sources including journal articles and books. Where available citation tracking information is provided, including all the data indexed in Google Books. This makes it the most comprehensive tool for checking book or book chapter citations.
Remember: citation indexes are primarily based on selected journal literature. If the author is most likely to be cited in books, non-English language journals, or journals not covered in the database, the usefulness of citation analysis is limited.
The Web of Knowledge database Journal Citation Reports database allows you to evaluate and compare journals using citation data drawn from journals indexed by the Web of Science database. It includes the disciplines of science, technology, and social sciences. The JCR is available in 2 discipline specific editions:
- Social Science
Using this tool you can view the:
- Most frequently cited journals in a field
- Hottest journals in a field
- Highest impact journals in a field
- Leading journals in a field
- Related journals in a field
- Citation characteristics for a subject category
Click here to view a brief tutorial on using the Journal Citation Reports database.