Skip to main content

Measuring your Publications' Impact: Article level metrics

Find out how you can measure and monitor the impact of your publications

Article Level Metrics

These are quantitative metrics which let you track how your publication is being used by readers. Citation counts are the longest established while newer metrics include “altmetrics” and “outputs in top percentiles”

  • Citation counts indicate that other researchers have referred to your publication in their publications. .
  • Altmetrics is a “broad term that encapsulates the collection of multiple digital indicators related to scholarly work”. They can include usage statistics, mentions on social media, captures by reference management software and are generally seen as a measure of the attention that a publication has received.
  • Outputs in top percentiles indicates the extent to which your publications are present in the most-cited thresholds of a data source (e.g. Scopus) per publication year. It is used for a group of journal articles and normalizes for the area you publish in.

Citation Counts

Citation counts can be tracked in a number of different resources but the key multidisciplinary databases are Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science. The citation count for each article tracked in these databases will more than likely differ across all three because each include different publications in their databases. 

Key Resources

  • Google Scholar is useful for interdisciplinary and international coverage because it tracks all types of scholarly publications on the internet. It is not a curated database and the methods of collection and inclusion are not openly available. 

Google Scholar screen shot

  • Scopus is an abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. It indexes over 23,000 peer-reviewed journals, 850 book series and conference papers from 120,000 worldwide events. 


  • Web of Science is an abstract and citation database which includes 21,100 peer-reviewed, high-quality scholarly journals published worldwide in over 250 sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities disciplines. Conference proceedings and book data are also included. 


Publisher specific resources

Many publishers now included citation data on their platforms which they either track between their own publications or incorporate Crossref "Cited-by" data. 

  • ACM Digital Library is a research, discovery and networking platform containing all ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) publications as well as a collection of publications from select publishers. 



  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library provides discovery and access to publications in electrical engineering, computer science, and electronics. It includes citations from publications like journal articles and conference papers as well as patents. 



Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels


Altmetrics was coined as shorthand for alternative metrics and encompasses a diverse range of indicators for a digital item. The signals can include downloads, views, likes, shares, social media mentions like blogs and twitter as well as software reuse. These metrics accumulate quicker than citation metrics and are indicative of reach beyond academia.

There are currently 3 main providers of altmetric services:, Plum Analytics and Impact Story. Many publishers have integrated altmetrics into their web platforms e.g. Plum Analytics is used on Scopus records so you may already be familiar with them. have made available a free bookmarklet which allows you to get altmetric data for any of your publications as long as they have a DOI.

Outputs in Top Percentiles

Outputs in top percentiles is a metric calculated by research analytics tools such as SciVal or InCites. UCC has a subscription to SciVal which gives the percentage of publications for an entity that fall into the top 1%, 5%, 10% or 25% of the world’s most highly cited publications in the Scopus database. Field-weighting may be applied optionally and has been set here in the screen shot for the set of publications from Ireland which are in the top 10% worldwide.