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Communication Design: MDS5022

An introduction to sources for students studying Visual Communication in MADA

Research Impact

Research impact is an important factor in attracting government funding for research activity within the university sector. Considerable emphasis is being placed on tracking citations of a researcher's published works and publishing within highly-ranked journals.

There are a number of tools available for measuring research impact - both citation impact and journal impact.

Citation databases are key tools in demonstrating the impact of an individual published paper or of a researcher's body of published work. They can be used to:

  • Demonstrate the impact of an article by the number of times it has been cited since it was published (citing references)
  • Use the author's references (cited references) to find the research that underpinned his or her work
  • Find related work in a field of research
  • Track the work of colleagues or competitors
  • Track the development of a theory
  • Identify influential (highly cited) papers and researchers or research groups

Major Citation Databases:

  • Scopus (Elsevier)
    Multidisciplinary abstract and citation database indexing 18,000+ peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, book series and patents. It allows cited reference searching from 1996.
  • Web of Science
    A multidisciplinary citation index of leading peer-reviewed journals, conference papers and some books. It includes Science Citation Index 1945+, Social Sciences Citation Index 1956+, Arts & Humanities Citation Index 1975+, Conference Proceedings Citation indexes 1990+.
  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar searches a wide range of scholarly publications from university, government and academic publisher sites. It includes 'Cited by' information for all types of documents indexed - articles, conference papers, books, theses, reports etc.
    All citing references in Google Scholar should be checked, as their reliability varies.

Journal citation reports


The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative assesses research quality within Australia's higher education institutions using a combination of indicators and expert review by committees comprising experienced, internationally-recognised experts.

The ERA 2012 Journal List defines the journals that are eligible for institutions’ ERA 2012 submissions – that is, scholarly, peer reviewed journals that publish original research and were active during the ERA 2012 reference period for research outputs (1 January 2005 – 31 December 2010).

The 2010 journal ranking system of A*, A, B, C was dropped for the 2012 list (read article in The Australian) but a refined journal indicator will be used alongside other indicators - citation analysis, peer review, research income, esteem measures and applied measures. A conference list will not be used for ERA 2012.

ERA 2012 journal list

Edited list for Art, Design Architecture (distributed in class).

Calls for papers

Databases for conference proceedings

Research repositories

Monash University Research Repository - Search for Art and Design.

OAIster - a union catalogue of digital resources - harvests from university repositories.

Trove - Australian national discovery service integrating the contents of Australian university research repositories, including digital theses.