Citation impact

A citation is an acknowledgment to the source used in a published work. Analysis of citation counts can be used to assess the usage and impact of a piece of work.

Citation counts are not comparable across disciplines because of differences in publishing and citation.


The following tools include citation data analysis. Several other library databases include options for searching for citations but may not include tools for analysis. Please contact your Subject Librarian for more information.

Impact beyond citation

Citation metrics are one measure of impact but do not measure usage, eg, downloads or readings, or impact on communities, health, environmental benefits, commercialisation or economic value. See the Altmetrics guide for more information.

You can benchmark your research performance based on citations for publications in Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus using two bibliometric tools, Scival and InCites.

Why use them?

  • They are quantitative measures of impact.
  • Valid for disciplines well covered in WoS and Scopus.
  • University rankings (QS, THE, ARWU) use Scopus and WoS data.
  • Objective evidence that institutions can access.
  • Metrics are adjusted for disciplinary differences in citation patterns.


  • Only cover publications indexed in WoS and Scopus (poor coverage in humanities and book types).
  • Quantitative and citation-based metrics do not reflect the full impact of publications.
  • Benchmarking is only useful in so far as the entities chosen provide meaningful comparisons.

Connect to the tools now and start generating your profile. A self-help guide on how to generate key author metrics is available.

Last updated : 20 October 2017
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