Author Impact

Personal impact can be measured both quantitatively and qualitatively.

As well as contributing to academic discourse, your impact can be reflected outside the scholarly literature.

Consider your research in the context of:

  • The wider community.
  • Uptake by practitioners.
  • Social media reach.
  • The adoption of a new product.
  • The commercialisation of a product for industry.
  • The discovery of a new drug.
  • Unsolicited feedback from the public or other experts in your field.
  • Impact on policy or legislation.
H-Index Example
Source: Wikipedia Commons

The h-index is a citation based attempt to measure both the productivity and impact of a scientist.

"The index h, defined as the number of papers with citation number greater than or equal to h, is a useful index to characterise the scientific output of a researcher." - JE Hirsch.

For example, a researcher with an h-index of 8 has published 8 items that have each been cited at least 8 times.

For early career researchers, the h-index has some limitations, as this video from MyRI explains.

Calculation tools

A researcher's h-index can be calculated using Google Scholar, Web of Science or Scopus citation indexes.

Which one should I use?

Because of the differences in coverage, the h-index will vary depending on the database used to calculate it.

A number of considerations need to be taken into account when using the h-index.

To understand these, refer to the following:

Web of Science and Scopus

The University of Auckland's Research Outputs shows your h-index based on Web of Science or Scopus approved records.

Google Scholar

By signing up for Google Scholar Citations, you can view the h-index calculations for your individual publications and an overall figure based on citations in Google Scholar.

H-index variations

Your h-index from Google Scholar is likely to be higher than your h-index from Web of Science or Scopus. This is because Google Scholar has wider coverage of some publication types (e.g., conference papers and theses).

The g-index is calculated based on the distribution of citations received by a given researcher's publications. It is a correction of the h-index calculated to correct for scientists with particularly highly-cited individual works. It looks at overall record, so a academic with a g-index of 6 has published at least 6 items which in total have received at least 36 citations between them (36=6²). G-index allows highly-cited papers to bolster low-cited papers.


  • Neither the h-index nor g-index decreases with time, so they may appear to undervalue the work of younger authors, but in context, a g-index is a measure of an author's contribution to the research environment.
  • It is unfair t compare g-indexes or h-indexes of two researchers working in different disciplines.

Author identifiers help researchers distinguish themselves from others with the same last name and initials. Consider getting an author identifier if:

  • You have the same name as other researchers internationally or in New Zealand
  • You have changed your name
  • You have changed employer

Researchers with an author identifier benefit from improved accuracy when:

  • Establishing your h-index
  • Tracking citation counts for your publications

Be sure to include your author identifier in:

  • Manuscript submissions
  • Grant applications
  • Patent applications

Author Identifiers

  • Scopus author ID
    Scopus database assigns authors an identifer to make discovery of publications easier.
  • Web of Science ResearcherID
    Provides a solution to the author ambiguity problem and enables researchers to manage their publication lists, track their citations coutns and h-index.
  • ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
    An author identifier used across disciplines, countries, and databases, it links to other author identifiers and can be used in Web of Science and in Scopus databases. For more information about ORCID and connecting your ORCID Record to the University, see the ORCID guide.
  • Google Scholar Author Profile
    Helps researchers keep track of citation counts and connect with scholars with similar interests.

Creating a profile in Google Scholar Citations helps you keep track of your citation counts and connect with scholars with similar interests.

Sign in to create a profile with a personal Google account.

Setting up your profile

Step 1: Profile page

  • Add your university email address
    Your profile will then be included in Google Scholar search results.
  • Add areas of interest
    You can then follow research themes as similar profiles are linked by common interests.
  • Add your department or discipline and university affiliation
    This will enhance your profile with academic credentials.

Step 2: Articles

  • Articles are automatically retrieved - add them one by one or as a group.
  • If an article does not appear in the list, click Add article manually in the left hand column to search and retrieve articles.

Step 3: Updates

  • Set automatic updates
    Save time by choosing to automatically update the list of publications.

View your profile

  • Add a photo
    Choose one that makes you appear both professional and approachable.
  • Verify your account
    Check your university email and click on the verification link.
  • Make your profile public
    To increase your visibility, select the option to make your profile public. When your articles are retrieved in Google Scholar, your name will be linked to your profile.

Create new publication and citation alerts

  • Click Follow to create alerts for new articles added to your profile or new citations to your articles.

Change settings

  • You can change your name, university affiliation, areas of interest and email anytime by clicking Edit.

After setting up your profile, search for your name in Google Scholar and review your public profile.

Social media helps publicise your research activities which leads to greater visibility and discoverability both within and outside your immediate field of expertise.

The Social media for researchers guide outlines some recommended social media platforms, channels and methods for academic research dissemination.

Tip: Keep your public and private personae separate.

Social media

Social media platforms can rank highly in search engine results.

Collaborate, share and discuss your work to increase your visibility.

    A social networking tool for academics. Sign up and upload your information about your publications, research interests, and your curriculum vitae (CV). You can also follow research in a particular field.
  • LinkedIn 
    A professional networking site widely-used in both industry and academia.
  • Twitter 
    Share, discuss and follow news of interest. For best practice tips, see the guide for academics and researchers using Twitter from the London School of Economics.

For more information on using social media to increase visibility, see Social media for researchers.

Last updated : 28 November 2018
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