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Workshop: Citation Counts and Journal Impact Factors for Tenure and Promotion

How to Find Citation Counts in Google Scholar in Three Steps

Step One: Set up your profile

  1. Go to and (if you are not already logged in) click “sign in” in the upper right corner. Sign in using your WMICH credentials.
  2. Click on “My Profile” in the upper left hand corner 
  3. Complete your name, affiliation, and email address at this time.
  4. You will need to use your WMU email address.
  5. Later, check your email to complete the verification process. This will authorize Google Scholar to display your affiliation as “verified.”

Step Two: Link your scholarship to your profile

  1. Google Scholar will suggest articles written by you  Some may be yours, and some may not be, especially if you have a common name. If you are a prolific researcher, or if you have a very common name, there may be many publications to review the first time you set up your profile. If there are publications that don’t belong to you, click the check box beside each and then click “delete.” This will remove the record for that item from your profile.

  2.  If Google has identified multiple records that are really referring to the same work, you can click the checkbox next to all records that refer to the same work and click “merge.

  3. There may also be some types of articles that you don't want to include (Google indexes lots of content such as newsletters, book reviews etc, not just scholarly articles). 
  4. If you do not have any publications, Google Scholar will present you with some options for publications that it thinks could belong to you. Unfortunately, in order to move forward with the process, you will have to accept one of these and then later remove it from your profile
  5.  When you're done, click "Next." 

Step Three: Fine tune your profile

  1. Do you want Google Scholar to automatically add your publications to your profile as it finds them (without you having to do anything), or do you want it to send you an email with publications to review before they appear on your profile? This is up to you, and you can change it later if you wish.
  2. Do you want your profile to be public? If you check the box to make it public, you’ll be more “Googleable” by others. If you have a long list of publications to review (from step 3) and haven’t gone through them all yet, you may wish to set your profile to private until you’re confident that the work represented on it is all truly yours, and then switch it to public. You can always change your profile from private to public and vice versa.
  3. Add keywords relating to your research and add a link to your University home page (if you have one)
  4. Add a photo if you want to personalize your profile. 

Final Step

Click on "Follow” in the upper right hand corner of your profile page to receive email alerts for any new publications associated with you, as well as new citations of your work. (Tip: you can “follow” new publications and new citations for any researcher with a public Google Scholar profile, not just yourself.

Understanding your citation counts

Understanding your citation counts

  • Google Scholar does not provide a list of the sources that it is searching to find citations to your work. 
  • Quality of the citations should be vetted.
  • They may not be from peer-review literature*.
  •  Google Scholar will count citations from online slide sets, reports, undergraduate essays and other sources.
  • Google Scholar may also not pick up citations from older content as it may not be available in a digital format. 
  • Citations to some sources, for example, books, may be much better in Google Scholar because they are not covered in the other subscription bibliographic databases. The inclusion of citations to books can be very useful for researchers in which non-journal article outputs are more common. 

*Fun Fact

Google Scholar accidentally parsed information from a school lunch menu.


Visit Alex Klotz's full account on Twitter:

Google Scholar - Useful Links

Citation Counts in Books

Citations Counts in Books or Chapters

Google Books 

  • can be used to find out if you've been cited with a little diligence and work.
  • searches the full-text of a book even if you don't hve full access. 
  • identifies those books in a results list and highlights where your name appears in the document, whether in footnotes, a bibliography, or parenthetical citation. 

Why Search Google books

Google scholar does not parse information from books,. If you are in a discipline that publishes mainly in monograph or edited volumes, I recommend doing a sweep in Google books. 

It is a little more involved and is a matter of 

  1. Goign to Google books
  2. Searching variations on your last name or primary author of a co-authored work
  3. Scanning the full text of the content to see if it is an actually citation. Scan the text or the bibliography
  • Search for variations of your name
    • Smith, K
    • Smith, KA
    • Smith, Kathleen
    • Kathleen Smith

How to include the source Information

  • Google Books  requires a few extra steps to grabbing the citation of the work citing you.
  • Google Books does not have a "cite this" tool a
  • I recommend using  WorldCat to get details of the book citing you.

Google Journal Rank

​Google Journal Rank 

You can also explore publications in your research disciplines. 

Top 100 Google Journals

By Discipline? Go to Categories drop down menu at the top of the list. 

 For example: Engineering & Computer Science or Health & Medical Sciences. To explore specific research areas, select one of the broad areas, click on the "Subcategories" link and then select one of the options. For example: Databases & Information Systems or Development Economics