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Research Impact: Article impact

Making an impact and measuring the impact of your research

Citation counting

Who is reading your journal article?

You can use citation counts to see how many times a specific article has been cited by others. Not all databases track citations and it may be that in your specific subject area, your favourite database does not have this feature.

Cited Reference searching

Cited Reference Searching enables you to find new, unknown references based on an older known reference. Cited Reference Searching can be used to:

  • Discover who is citing a specific piece of research.

  • Find out how many times a particular piece of work has been cited.

  • Discover how older research is influencing newer research.

  • Track the work of a specific researcher.


Use the Cited Reference Search in Web of Science to track an individual article in this way.

Other ways of measuring article impact: Altmetrics

New tools are being developed all the time which track individual impact on the internet. As with any such tool, they only give a partial picture and should be used with caution.

tracks what people are saying about papers online and is increasing being embedded into journal websites. Find out more about Altmetrics by clicking on the Altmetrics tab above

Databases for citation counting

ISI Web of Science

Choose Cited Reference Search from the drop down list next to Basic Search

Enter minimal details (e.g. Author and year, for example Clegg, W  and 2004)

Click on View Record to see list of Citing articles for each paper


Choose Author search

Enter author details and include affiliation if known

Click on Details for Citation information

Cited by gives a list of papers

Citation tracker gives a citation analysis by year and h index 

Google Scholar 

Choose Advanced Search Options

Enter details of specific article

You can include affiliation (eg Newcastle) in the top boxes, author, limit by year, limit by subject area

Click on Cited by in results list to see citing articles

Citation mapping

Citation mapping tools demonstrate links between references. For example, they may highlight collaborating authors or identify countries in which an article is heavily cited.

The map below is taken from Web of Knowledge and uses colour to bring together citations to one article from different countries.