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Research Impact Library Guide: Tracking Yourself on Google Scholar

The guide covers ways you can measure your impact as a researcher.

Access UCT content via Google Scholar

When you search in Google Scholar from the University of Cape Town you should see the ViewIt@UCT to the right of each item in the results list.

If you find that you do not see the ViewIt@UCT option you can update your settings by clicking on Scholar Preferences next to the Search button and add University of Cape Town to your 'Library Links' in the next screen, you may need to do this from a campus computer. Once you save your preferences while logged into your Google account they will remain when you use the site off campus.

Alternatively when off campus, you can login into the UCT Libraries website using the Off-campus Login. Select Databases by Platform from the list of options under "Search and Find", and then select Google Scholar.  You are then able to login to your Google account.

Google Scholar Classic Papers

Classic papers are highly-cited papers in their area of research that have stood the test of time.    Google Scholar lists the 10 top cited papers that were published in the last 10 years (from 2006 to May 2017).

Software & Programmes for Google Scholar Citation Data

*   Google Scholar Citation Counter   is a  Google Scholar Universal Gadget which enables users to search for the total number of citations of author(s), total number of cited publications and h-index.  

* Publish or Perish is a downloadable program that obtains and analyses citation data from Google Scholar. It provides statistics on number of citations, number of papers, h-index and a number of others. It is designed to help research academics to present their case for research impact.   You need to download the software on to your computer.

* CIDS (Citation Impact Discerning Self-Citations) will analyze publications for self-citation data; this includes the h- and g-indexes calculated both with all cites and then without self-cites.  The service is free, however, limitations are many.   According to the FAQ page, only one search per email is allowed.  There is also a limit of 200 items (in the tutorial, it says 500 items) for the analysis.  The analysis takes about 1 minute per item to calculate.

* Scholarometer  is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox  that provides a social web tool that leverages crowdsourced scholarly annotation using Google Scholar. 

Tracking Your Citations

Google Scholar Citations is another way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles.  Once you have created your profile,  Google Scholar will try to find your publications and add them to My Citations.  

You can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics.    You can also make your profile public, so it appears in Google Scholar results when other people search for you by name.

You can choose to have your list of articles updated automatically as  Google Scholar finds new citations to your work on the web. Or you can manually add them.

The following information is displayed for all your citations:  

*  the total citation count

*   h-index

*  i10-index which is the total number of a researcher's publications that have 10+ citations.   

Citations are ranked by citation count,  but it is possible to sort by publication year.

Because Google counts citations from all types of resources,  the citation counts will be higher than those in other citation resources. 

How to set up a Google Scholar Citations Profile

  1. Create a Google account or sign in with one you already have.
  2. Once you have signed in, the Citations sign up form will ask you to confirm the spelling of your name, and to enter your affiliations, interests etc.  Google advises that you also enter your university email address.
  3. Now for finding your articles.   On the next page, you'll find groups of articles written by people with similar names to yours.  Choose your articles, either by selecting each group or individual articles.  If you don't find your articles in these groups,  follow the link from "Search Articles" to do a Google Scholar search and add the articles one by one.
  4. You'll then be prompted to either have updates automatically added to your profile, or you can choose to review them before uploading.
  5. Before making your profile public, check your university email to click on the verification link, add a photo, and check the list of articles.

Limitations of Google Scholar Metrics

Some cautions:-

Google Scholar only searches what is visible to its search robots and to the majority of users.   Google says that if there are missing citations to articles, the chances are good that the citing articles are not accessible to the search robots or have been formatted in ways that make it difficult for indexing algorithms to identify their bibliographic data or references. 

As far as the metrics are concerned:-

*    Scholar Metrics currently cover articles published between 2011 and 2016, both inclusive. The metrics are based on citations from all articles that were indexed in Google Scholar in June 2017. This also includes citations from articles that are not themselves covered by Scholar Metrics. See:

*    Since Google Scholar indexes articles from a large number of websites, they cannot  always tell in which journal a particular article has been published.  So Google only includes:

  • journal articles from websites that follow their inclusion guidelines
  • selected conference articles in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering;
  • preprints from arXiv, SSRN, NBER and RePEC - for these sites, metrics are computed for individual collections, e.g., "arXiv Superconductivity (cond-mat.supr-con)" or "CEPR Discussion Papers".

*  These items are excluded:

  • court opinions, patents, books, and dissertations;
  • publications with fewer than 100 articles published between 2011 and 2016;
  • publications that received no citations to articles published between 2011 and 2016.

Overall, Scholar Metrics cover a substantial fraction of scholarly articles published in the last five years.  The metrics only include publications with at least a hundred articles in the last five years.   This means  they don't currently cover a large number of articles from smaller publications.     

For more information on Google Scholar metrics see:

Google Scholar Metrics for Journals

Scholar metrics provides an overview of recent citations to many publications to help researchers decide where to publish their research. These metrics offer a list of the top 100 publications in several languages. A search within various subject categories and subcategories is also available. To see which articles in a publication were cited the most and who cited them, click on its h5-index number to view the articles as well as the citations underlying the metrics.      

The h-index of a publication is the largest number h such that at least h articles in that publication were cited at least h times each. For example, a publication with five articles cited by, respectively, 17, 9, 6, 3, and 2, has the h-index of 3.

The h-core of a publication is a set of top cited h articles from the publication. These are the articles that the h-index is based on. For example, the publication above has the h-core with three articles, those cited by 17, 9, and 6.

The h-median of a publication is the median of the citation counts in its h-core. For example, the h-median of the publication above is 9. The h-median is a measure of the distribution of citations to the articles in the h-core.

Finally, the h5-indexh5-core, and h5-median of a publication are, respectively, the h-index, h-core, and h-median of only those of its articles that were published in the last five complete calendar years.

Google Scholar metrics displays the h5-index and the h5-median for each included publication. It also displays an entire h5-core of its articles, along with their citation counts, so that you can see which articles contribute to the h5-index.   Click on the citation count for any article in the h5-core to see who cited it.

Publications with fewer than 100 articles in 2012-2016, or publications that received no citations over these years are not included.