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.