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CIS 600 - Research Methods

Author Impact Factor

The Author Impact Factor calculates the scientific value of a given researcher or author. You can try the h-index or compile cited references by using Google Scholar.


The h-index quantifies the actual scientific productivity and the apparent impact of the scientist. The h-index is based on the author’s most cited papers and the number of citations they have received from other articles.

"A scientist has index h if h of his/her Np papers have at least h citations each, and the other (Np − h) papers have no more than h citations each." [For details in calculation, see Hirsch, 2005] An h-index of 16 means, for example, that a researcher has published 16 papers that each had at least 16 citations. Therefore, the h-index reflects both the number of articles as well as the number of citations per article.

Extracted and modified from Impact Factors (University of Washington, Health Sciences Library) Library Guide

Cited References

Cited references make it possible to find other documents that are related by topic or subject to the original document. Cited references (references that cite an individual article) may be used to measure the usage and impact of a cited work. Note that cited references can be influenced by author self-citing or publishing in an open access journal.

Citation analysis, which involves counting how many times a paper or researcher is cited, assumes that influential scientists and important works are cited more often than others.

Extracted from Impact Factors (University of Washington, Health Sciences Library) Library Guide

Google Scholar Cited References

Google Scholar (GS) covers peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and other scholarly literature from all broad areas of research and from a wide variety of academic publishers and professional societies, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. Each Google Scholar search result contains bibliographic information, such as the title, author names, and source of publication. At the end of the search result is a “Cited by” link, which will display a list of articles and documents that have cited the document originally retrieved in the search. Note that this only includes resources indexed by Google Scholar.

There have been some criticisms of Google Scholar Cited References, such as:

  • GS includes some non-scholarly citations.
  • It is not clear exactly which scholarly resources are included in GS.
  • GS does not perform well for older publications.
  • GS is a beta product and may change at any time.
  • GS may find the same citing work more than once and count them more than once in its total. It's important to go through the list of citing works to remove duplicates.

How to find Cited References in Google Scholar:

  1. Go to Google Scholar
  2. Enter search terms, such as an individual author or a particular article citation.
  3. Look for the “Cited by” link at the bottom of the citation.
  4. Click on the “Cited by” link to retrieve citations to the original resource.

Extracted and modified from Impact Factors (University of Washington, Health Sciences Library) Library Guide

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