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Open Access

What are Citation Metrics?

Citation metrics provide quantitative data used to evaluate the impact of a scholar’s research. Metrics also assist scholars with identifying key journals and notable researchers in their field. Several methods of collecting impact data are often used when conducting a comprehensive analysis of a scholar’s work. Just with traditional journals, citation metrics also play an important part of publishing in Open Access journals. The following sections outline the various types of traditional and alternative metrics to consider when publishing in Open Access journals, in addition to information about journal ranking. 

Faculty and students can schedule an appointment with a subject librarian for help with a citation search (to see how many times your articles have been cited by others). For additional citation metrics support, such as citation analysis, visit our LibGuide on the topic

If you have questions or need more information citation metrics or alternative metrics, you can contact Sarah Norris, Scholarly Communication Librarian, or schedule an appointment. UCF Libraries also offers workshops for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars on this topic every semester through the College of Graduate Studies' Pathways to Success workshop series

Traditional Metrics

The following are several resources that provide traditional citation metrics. 

  • Dimensions: Allows users to discover, access, and analyze research publications and their impact; there are both free and paid versions of the platform.
  • Google Scholar: This free tool is likely to produce more cited references than either Web of Science or Scopus, but it also produces duplicate results. In addition, Google does not provide a complete list of all the publications it indexes, so it is difficult to know if Google Scholar provides comprehensive citation counts. For authors, Google Scholar Citations provide a simple way to keep track of citations to their articles. They can check who is citing their publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics.
  • Microsoft Academic: This free tool is a public web search engine for academic publications and literature that includes information about journal rankings and citation metrics.
  • Scopus: This database counts citations from articles included in the Scopus database. As the largest abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources Scopus covers nearly 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 publishers. UCF does not subscribe to Scopus. Scopus Preview provides free journal rankings and author metrics to non-subscribers.
  • Web of Science: This database counts citations, and only counting citations from articles indexed by ThomsonISI, the company that owns Web of Science. It consists of seven databases containing information gathered from thousands of scholarly journals, books, book series, reports, conferences, and more. UCF currently subscribes to three of the databases.

Alternative Metrics

In addition to traditional metrics, alternative methods or “altmetrics” analyze more factors such as usage metrics (the number of times an article has been downloaded or viewed), scoring systems that evaluate the importance of a journal using weighted rankings, and age weighted citation rates that take into account the age of the work compared to how many times it’s been cited. Please note that alternative metrics services are not funded by the UCF Libraries and there may be costs associated with some of the tools below.

Journal Rankings

Journal Citation Reports: A resources tool for journal evaluation and comparison of usage patterns for scholarly journals, using citation data drawn from titles worldwide. Among other data, JCR can provide a list of the most frequently cited titles, those with highest impact (i.e., the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year), and those with the greatest immediacy (i.e., how quickly the average article in a journal is cited).