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Research Impact

This guide outlines the resources and support available for ACU researchers to track their research impact.

A little bit about citation

Citation is the process of acknowledging the author and title of a source used in a published work. Citations can be counted as a measure of the usage and impact of the cited work.

Citation counts are used to measure impact for:

  • publications such as journals, books, and conference papers
  • authors
  • individual articles

How do I ...

Find who is citing my articles?

Search a citation database for your article.There will be a 'Cited by' link, or similar, which will provide details about the number of times your article has been cited, where and by whom. 

It may be useful to search more than one database. This is because in most cases citation data is collected only from the articles contained in that database. If a citing article is not also in the database you are searching, its citation data may not be included.

Find the highly cited articles in my field?

In some citation databases you can sort the results of a search by the number of citations each result has received. This allows you to search for articles in a particular subject area, and then have the most highly cited works display at the top of your results list.

Track citations of my work over time?

A number of citation databases allow you to place 'Citation Alerts' on articles so that you will be notified when they receive a new citation.  

Although different databases will have different procedures for setting citation alerts, the general principles are the same:

  1. Locate the record of the article you want to add as a citation alert
  2. Create a Citation Alert for the specified article

Scopus tutorial : Document citation alerts

Web of Science tutorial: Citation alerts


The results of citation analyses will vary depending on the tool(s) you use and the thoroughness of the search. The discipline area and object of analyses may also limit the validity.

Why do different databases retrieve different results?

The citation data will relate only to articles indexed within the database. Variation may occur because different databases:

  • Index different publication sources;
  • Cover different date ranges; and
  • Include poor-quality data (duplicate records, misspelt citations etc).

What types of documents should be included in a report?

Generally citation analyses would include articles, notes, and reviews, as these are document types that would be expected to receive citations.

Can citation data be used to compare or benchmark articles?

It is important to ensure citation data is being used to compare like with like.

  • Different disciplines have markedly different citing behaviour and patterns.
  • Document age influences the number of citations it has, or is likely to receive.

Databases with article citation information

A growing number of databases enable you to find out how often an article has been cited, where, and by whom.

Unless otherwise indicated, the citation data is collected from the articles contained in that database only.

Unless otherwise indicated, citation data is collected from the articles contained in that database only.

Unless otherwise indicated, citation data is collected from the articles contained in that database only.

Google Scholar also provides citation information for articles.  

Note however that Google Scholar citations have been criticised for duplications and mis-identifications.  Careful analysis and verification of results is strongly recommended.

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