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

Vocabulary of Citation Counts and Journal Impact Factors

Vocabulary for Citation Counts and Journal Impact Factors

What are citation counts? 

Broadly speaking, "citation counts" is ta term that describes the measurable times others refer to your work, typically in the format of a citation.  

What is journal impact factor?

Journal impact factor is a method of measuring the impact of all content of a journal and is a way to rank the impact of that journal on a discipline.

More terms

  • Altmetrics
    • Non-traditional measure of bibliometrics (social media, scholarly networks, etc...)
    • This is starting to appear in Library Search and in WoS Incites
    • Visit for more help.
  • Eigenfactor Score: measures citations after removing self cites and other factors. 
  • H-index:
    • number of your papers (h) that have been cited at least h times over x many years. 
      • At least h many papers have been cited h many times. 
      • For example, an author or journal with an h-index of 30 has written at least 30 papers that have each had at least 30 citations. Thus, a higher h-index indicates more publications that have been cited more often. This metric is useful because it takes into account the uneven weight of highly cited papers or papers that have not yet been cited.
  • i-10 index measures the number of articles that have been cited at least 10 times. 
    • For example, an i-10 index of 30 would mean that at least 30 journal articles had been cited 10 times. 
  • Immediacy index
    • in WoS Incites:  "The journal Immediacy Index indicates how quickly articles in a journal are cited."
  • Self-citing: frowned upon, inflates cite counts. 

Who measures citation counts?

Who measures citations? 


Google Scholar

  • Searches publisher websites, repositories, university websites, book platforms, technical reports, patent sites and other sources.
  • May contain duplicate entries and “minor” works like conference
  • posters/presentations and undergraduate thesis.
  • Very strong in foreign journals and books.

Google Books

Google Journal Rank

Scopus, Orcid, Scimago


  • Over 36,000 journals from 5,000+ publishers.
  • Stronger international coverage than Web of Science



Web of Science 

Web of Science

  • Over 20,000 journals from 3,300+ publishers.
  • Weak at distinguishing between authors, may lead to inflated total number of publications.
  • English language bias


Journal Citation Rank

Why Use all three

No database is likely to be able to cover all outputs in all subjects. Bear this in mind when using citation data from different sources.These are competing services. 

General speaking you will need to follow these steps for each of the three major resources. 

  1. Set up accounts in Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science
  2. Find and upload or Import your works into your profile in each service. 
  3. Verify works, check for duplicates
  4. When searching, search all variations of your name 
    1. Smith, K. 
    2. Smith, KA
    3. Smith, Kathleen A. 
    4. Smith, Kathleen 

Comparing across platforms

Comparing across platforms