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Metrics and Impact: Author metrics

What are author metrics?

Author metrics allow you to measure how often your work is cited and can assist in demonstrating your author impact.

Impact can be measured in terms of number of publications, citation counts (for individual publications, all publications or as an average number). Sources of author metrics include: InCites, ResearcherID/Publons, Scopus, Google Scholar and SSRN.

Author engagement can be measured in terms of publisher or repository downloads, social media mentions, mentions within policy documents or your engagement with industry. Author engagement tools include: Altmetric Explorer and social media.

  • Total number of publications
  • Total number of citations for all publications
  • Number of citations for a particular item
  • Average number of citations
  • Number of downloads (eg from University and other repositories)
  • H-index
  • G-index
  • Type of article (eg review articles are more highly cited than editorials)
  • Language
  • Refutation
  • Citation bias or self-citation
  • Subject area
  • Publication schedule
  • Journal reputation

Endorsed profiles and author identifiers

Author identifiers

The University encourages all academic staff to have three author identifiers - ORCID, Scopus (where available) and ResearcherID (now hosted on Publons). One of the major reasons is author disambiguation - they assist in linking research outputs to the correct author. This reduces administrative burden, improves data accuracy and the discoverability of research outputs.

  • ORCID is independent, community-driven and intended to be overarching. Some publishers and funding bodies have made an ORCID mandatory.
  • Scopus Author ID is automatically generated for authors whose work is indexed in the Scopus database. Elsevier, using Scopus data, were the citation provider for ERA 2011 and 2015.
  • ResearcherID is hosted on Publons (provided by Clarivate Analytics). Clarivate Analytics, using Web of Science data, were the citation provider for ERA 2018.

For either ORCiD, Scopus or ResearcherID profiles please ensure the following:

  • ORCiD - ensure it is linked to UniSA and if you are a UniSA staff member ensure the badge appears on your Staff Home Page. If it doesn't please contact Ask the Library
  • Scopus - make sure your ORCiD is linked into your Scopus profile. If there are errors in your Scopus profile search for your name and choose Edit profile to amend or contact Ask the Library
  • Web of Science - select the Researchers tab and search for your name and either Claim my record if correct for Remove publications if needed. Once correct you will have a ResearcherID profile created in Publons. Once you login to your Publons profile you can then bring in your publications from Web of Science using the My records > Publication option

ORCID logo

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCiD) is a free, internationally recognised, non-profit registry system. It allows you to:

  • Generate a unique, persistent identifier to easily distinguish yourself from other researchers
  • List all of your research outputs in one place (via import or manual entry)
  • Link to other identifiers including ResearcherID and Scopus Author ID

What is ORCID@UniSA?

Registering your ORCiD with UniSA simplifies the management of your ORCiD record. It takes 2 minutes to register and this will then reduce the need to manually update your publications. More information is available from the ORCiD research guide.

Grant applications and publishing

ORCIDs are increasingly being used by funding bodies and journal publishers as a way to identify researchers. Therefore, certain publishers and grant funders may ask you to supply your ORCID.

Tip - Include unique identifiers such as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) in your ORCID records where available. This will improve discoverability and the collection of metrics.


If you have a ResearcherID on Publons, you can:

  • Quickly generate your total times cited counts, H-index, average citations per item, and average citations per year (based on publications indexed in Web of Science Core Collection)
  • View graphics showing impact over time, for examples publication and times cited counts by year
  • Link it to your ORCiD profile, to showcase your whole of career research publications
  • Option to include peer review activities

Publons logo navigating to the Publons websiteResearcherID icon navigating to the Publons website

If you have a ResearcherID badge on your Staff Home Page, you can click on this to access your ResearcherID profile. 

Tip: If you do not have this badge on your Staff Home Page, contact Ask the Library, the ResearcherID badge will be added on your behalf.

Otherwise follow the steps below to search for or create your profile:

ResearcherID is now hosted on Publons and is produced by Clarivate Analytics. You can:

  • Create your profile
  • Add your publications via Web of Science
  • View your citation metrics.

View the short video below to see how to register for a ResearcherID and import your publications.

Author metrics can be generated on Web of Science:

  • Connect to Web of Science
  • Go to the Author Search tab
  • The Name Search box appears, enter Last name and First name. Select the appropriate names as required. If the author is known by other names, these can be added by using the +Include alternative name. Then click on Find
  • The author records will display. If there are multiple author records, Select the author names, then View Combined Record
  • A consolidated profile will display, showing a publications list and times cited counts
  • You can also see percentiles for your publications in the beamplot. Select View full beamplot to view the percentile for each article
  • A Citation Network window will display the author's H-index, Sum of Times Cited and Citing Articles
  • Click on View full Citation Report to generate some visualisations.

Note: Why does the number of publications and citations vary between the author profile screen, and the Citation Report screen?

If the author has claimed their author record, they may also have added publications that although indexed in Web of Science are not part of UniSA's subscription; examples include books and book chapters, and journals that are in the Emerging Sources Citation Index backfile.

In these cases, it is possible to add them into their ResearcherID on Publons, then they will be included in the initial search results in Web of Science.

Note: Once you claim your profile(s) in Web of Science you will need to create a Publons profile to host your publications in once place. When you create your profile you will receive a unique researcherID number.

Finding Hot Papers and Highly Cited Papers in Web of Science

What is a Hot Paper or Highly Cited Paper?

  • A Hot Paper is defined as a paper published in the past two years that received a number of citations in the most recent two-month period that places it in the top 0.1% of papers in the same field
  • A Highly Cited Paper is a paper that  belongs to the top 1% of papers in a research field published in a specified year. The 1% is determined by the highly cited threshold calculated for the research field in the specified year.

To find out if you have a Hot Paper or a Highly Cited Paper, connect to Web of Science and then go to the Authors tab and:

  • For a Name Search, enter your Last Name and First Name and Search, or
  • Select Author Identifiers from the drop down menu and insert your ORCiD, and Search
  • You may see more than one record for your name. If so, tick the box next to all relevant variations and then click View as combined record
  • The Combined author records display, scroll to the Publications box and click on View as set of results
  • On the left hand side of the screen, look for the Quick Filters section. if you have any Hot Papers or Highly Cited Papers these will appear as a filter. Tick the box next to the papers and click Refine
  • Click on the or the to see the details, eg:


Scopus will automatically create your author profile. This will display once you have 2 publications that are indexed in Scopus.

When you have an author profile on Scopus, you can:

  • View your documents and analyze author output e.g. documents by source, type, year, and subject
  • See your H-index and H-index visualisation
  • View document and citation trends graphics
  • Link your profile to your ORCiD profile, to showcase your whole of career research outputs


scopus badge on staff homepageIf you have a Scopus badge on your Staff Home Page, you can click on this to access your Scopus profile. 

Tip: If you do not have this badge on your Staff Home Page, contact Ask the Library, the Scopus badge will be added on your behalf.

Otherwise, follow the steps below to search for your profile:

  • Select the Authors button, and enter your Last Name and Initials
  • Add your current or former Affiliation to help reduce the number of potential matches
  • Select the main profile by clicking on the author name
  • Your personal profile, link to documents, h-index and affiliations will display.

If you have multiple profiles, at the Grouped authors section, select Request to merge authors and follow the steps.

View the short videos below to see:

  • How to search for an author and view their profile
  • How to assess an author's impact (note that although some of the boxes may have changed as shown in the video, the content is still valid)

Other metrics

Google Scholar (search next to the Library collection tab) released Google Scholar Citations in November 2011. This product allows you to easily create a profile from existing Google Scholar data. It displays your publications and citations, and calculates your h-index and i10-index.

The i10-index is the number of publications with at least 10 citations. It can be calculated against all publications for an author, or a 'recent' version, which is the number of publications that have received at least 10 new citations in the past 5 years.

Citation rates tend to be high but keep in mind that there may be some duplication and author misidentification.

To check for UniSA researchers who may have a Google Scholar Citations profile, just search for their name in Google Scholar, and it should appear at the top of the results list. 

The Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) is comprised of a number of specialised research networks and includes over 900, 000 research papers within 60 or more disciplines. Free registration is required to download some full text, submit a paper, view references and citations and connect with other researchers in your field.

See the SSRN FAQs for more information. 

Some subject databases include citation counts. These counts may only appear in the record for a work if it has been cited at least once. The counts of cited references may be drawn from one database or multiple databases. In some of these databases download counts may also be displayed. 

Many databases available via ProQuest include times cited counts drawn from the complete suite of ProQuest databases, e.g.

PsycINFO does not list times cited, but does allow you to search for citing references.

Navigate to the website

Publish or Perish is a software program developed by Anne-Wil Harzing of Middlesex University, London. The program analyses Google Scholar raw citations and presents a variety of metrics including:

  • Total number of papers and citations
  • Average citations per paper, citations per author, papers per author, and citations per year
  • Hirsch's h-index and related parameters
  • Egghe's g-index
  • The contemporary h-index
  • Three variations of individual h-indices
  • The average annual increase in the individual h-index
  • The age-weighted citation rate
  • An analysis of the number of authors per paper

Publish or Perish may be most useful for three of the Google Scholar categories:

  1. Business, Economics & Management
  2. Engineering and Computer Science
  3. Social Sciences

The latest version of the software can be downloaded from the UniSA Software Center

Caution: Use of Publish or Perish may cause you to reach the maximum number of page requests allowed by Google Scholar. This may mean that you are unable to access Google Scholar for up to 24 hours