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Authors / Researchers: What is your impact?

Determine your impact

Measuring the impact of your life's work should involve qualitative and quantitative methods. To the extent that that you want or need to quantitatively measure your impact, this guide goes over the "bag of metrics" you'll find in Clarivate Analytics products.

A word to the wise: no metric is perfect. Each has a purpose, each has limitations. The key is in knowing what each metric can measure and what it cannot.

But my paper is not in the Web of Science. How can I determine my impact if my scholarly work isn't there to begin with?

While your scholarly work may not have been indexed in Web of Science, the citations to your scholarly work from items that are indexed will have been captured and can be found. This kind of search is called a Cited Reference Search, and you can search the Web of Science for citations to anything. It can be a pop song or a movie, a famous letter, a work of art, a local attraction in your hometown--as long as it's been cited by something indexed in Web of Science, you'll be able to search for that citation. There are more than one billion searchable cited references in Web of Science!

Visit our page on doing a Cited Reference Search for your non-indexed scholarly work, and then come back to this page to determine its impact.

It is recommended that you read the sections below in order. This page begins with the most basic of article level metrics--the Times Cited count--which forms the basis for understanding other metrics discussed here.

1. Citation counts in Web of Science

Citation counts are a traditional and key measure of impact.

On the full record page of any item in the Web of Science, you can view that item's citation counts in the Citation Network panel on the right.

Times cited counts

There are two citation counts provided in Web of Science: Times Cited and All Times Cited.

This video goes over the sources for these two citation counts.

My paper's Times Cited count is lower than I expected. Am I missing any citations?

Consider doing a cited reference search.

The Times Cited counts shown in Web of Science are instances where the citing article was successfully linked to the cited reference. But what if an author cites your work and they incorrectly keyed your name, the title of your work, or another important piece of identifying information? During indexing, Clarivate uses an algorithm that processes these common mistakes, and in most cases we are still able to link the citing article to the cited reference. For miskeyed citations that the algorithm is not able to process--we call these citation variants--you can perform a cited reference search to "capture" those missed citations and get a more complete picture of the citations to your work.

For more, visit our page on doing a Cited Reference Search.

2. Analyze the citing articles

For a single paper or a group of papers you've authored, you can use the Analyze Results tool on the citing articles to reveal interesting data points about your impact (i.e., whose work did you impact, what is the impact of your work in other disciplines, what is the geographical distribution of your impact, etc?).

Go to the citing articles of a single paper

From the full record view of any paper you've authored in the Web of Science, you can click on the Times Cited count to view the citing articles.

Then use the Analyze Results tool to explore data points that are interesting to you. For example, you could examine the subject categories of the articles that cited your work. You can use either Research Areas or Web of Science Categories for this kind of analysis. Choosing Research Areas provides fewer, less granular subject categories to work with than opting for Web of Science Categories.


Go to the citing articles of a group of papers

For a group of papers that you've authored, you can view the citing articles for the whole group by using the Citation Report feature.


1. Search Web of Science by your Web of Science ResearcherID (found in your Publons profile) or ORCID unique identifier.

Note: If you have not yet set up a Publons or ORCID account and added all of your publications to your profile, please see the Build your portfolio tab at the top of this libguide.

2. You'll find the Citation Report tool available for any result set of 10,000 or fewer records.

Create Citation Report button

3. Run Citation Report on all of your publications. This report will show you the total number of citing articles for all of your publications: you'll see a Citing Articles count and a Citing Articles without self-citations count, which is the number of citing articles minus any articles that are appearing in the set of publications you are examining (in other words, for the scenario described here, this count would show you only citing articles that you have not authored).

Citing articles analysis

4. Click on the citing article count to go to the citing articles. Click the Analyze tool next to the Citing Articles count, to analyze where your citations originated (which authors, organizations, countries, subject categories, etc. cite you).

3. Determine your h-Index in Web of Science

The h-index is often used to quantify an individual's research output. You can use the Citation Report tool in Web of Science to determine your h-index.

Search for your papers as described earlier (see Step 2. Analyzing the citing articles, above) and run the Citation Report tool.


The h-index was developed by J.E. Hirsch and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (46): 16569-16572 November 15 2005.

4. Citation baselines in Essential Science Indicators

The Times Cited count is an important measure of impact, but, by itself, it doesn't indicate how a paper is performing against its peers.

If a paper published in 2011 in the field of clinical medicine has been cited 150 times...what does that mean, exactly? That seems like a lot of citations, but is it? How does that paper compare with other clinical medicine papers published in 2011?

For papers published in the last 10 years, you can use Essential Science Indicators to view citation baselines based on publication year and field.


1. In Essential Science Indicators click on Field Baselines at the top.

ESI Field baselines

2. Click on Percentiles on the left.

3. There are 22 different subject categories in Essential Science Indicators. Scroll down the table until you see the subject category that your paper falls under. If you are not sure what category your paper belongs to, please visit the scope notes for each category here:

4. The table shows the minimum number of citations* required for a paper to achieve a certain percentile ranking. To continue with the example of a clinical medicine paper published in 2011, this is what the table shows:

I can see that a 2011 clinical medicine paper with 150 citations places it within the top 1% when compared to peers. The minimum number of citations needed to be in the top 1% is 109.

* Note that Essential Science Indicators only considers citations coming from journals that are indexed by Clarivate Analytics. Citations from conferences or books are not considered.

Watch this video for more on baselines and thresholds in Essential Science Indicators.

5. Highly Cited Papers and Hot Papers

Essential Science Indicators identifies papers in the Web of Science Core Collection that are producing a lot of impact when compared to peers (papers in the same field, same publication date). If your institution subscribes to Essential Science Indicators and your paper has been identified as a Highly Cited Paper or Hot Paper, you will see an icon next to your paper to designate this status.

Highly Cited Papers are papers published in the last 10 years that are receiving the most citations (top 1%) when compared to peer papers (same field, same publication year).

Hot Papers are papers published in the last two years that are receiving the most citations (top 0.1%) in the most recent two-month period when compared to peer papers (same field, same publication date).

6. Author performance metrics in InCites Benchmarking & Analytics

For a single paper or a group of papers you've authored, you can use the advanced metrics provided in InCites Benchmarking & Analytics to get a more nuanced understanding of impact and performance.

Note: InCites Benchmarking & Analytics requires a sign-in. If you have already set up a Web of Science sign-in as described on the First Steps page of this guide, then you can use the same credentials to sign into InCites. Otherwise, use the Register an email address option below the Sign in button when you are in InCites.


1. In InCites, go into the People explorer.

2. In the Person Name or ID filter choose Unique ID. From the dropdown select ResearcherID or ORCID.

Note: If you have not yet set up a ResearcherID or ORCID account and added all of your publications to your profile, please see the Build your portfolio tab at the top.

3. Enter your ResearcherID or ORCID number and click on Update Results.

4. In the table you will be able to view performance metrics for all of your papers as a group. Click on the cogwheel icon to add performance metrics of interest to you.

While the h-index is one of the options available, InCites provides additional metrics for a more varied perspective into your impact and performance.

% Documents in Top 1% 

The percentage of your papers that have been cited enough times to place them in the top 1% (when compared to papers in the same category, year, and of the same document type).

% Documents in Top 10%

The percentage of your papers that have been cited enough times to place them in the top 10%. Again, this is normalized for category, year, and document type.

Category Normalized Citation Impact

CNCI is an indicator of impact normalized for subject focus, age, and document type. A CNCI value of one represents performance at par with world average, values above one are considered above average, and values below one are considered below average. A CNCI value of two is considered twice the world average.

% Industry Collaborations

What percentage of your papers have been produced with co-authors from industry?

% International Collaborations

What percentage of your papers have been produced with international co-authors?

5. If you would like to view performance metrics for each paper you've authored, click on the Web of Science document count in the table. This will open an overlay that shows a list of all your documents and the metrics calculated for each document in the list.

7. How much interest has your work generated?

The Times Cited count is considered an indicator of a paper's impact. Web of Science provides a complementary indicator, Item Level Usage Counts, that provides insight into how much interest a publication has generated among users of the platform. For some disciplines, this may be the only indication of "influence" that a paper has generated, and for fields that do generate a lot of citation activity, usage counts can help you identify which papers are generating the most interest on the platform.

Item Level Usage Counts are derived by counting how many times users on the Web of Science platform click on the full-text of an item or choose to export an item to a bibliographic management software (like EndNote). Those two activities, or events, are tallied up for you in the form of two counts:

Since 2013

We began counting item usage in 2013, so the "Since 2013" usage count can be considered a count of all-time interest in an item.

Last 180 Days

This count shows you how much interest a paper has generated in the last 180 days.

For any item in Web of Science you can open up the Usage Count below the Times Cited count.

Web of Science Item Level Usage Counts

Watch this video for more on item level usage counts.

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