Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Research Impact & Visibility: Traditional and altmetrics


On this page you will find:

  • Comparison chart of available traditional and alternative metrics websites (selection; not exhaustive)

You might try one or more of these:

  1. Author metrics
    Check (and compare) your impact scores:
  2. Article metrics
    Check (and compare) the impact of your publications:
  3. Institutional metrics
    Check (and compare) the impact of your organization's publications:

Hands-on workshop

On request the library organizes hands-on workshops for UU research groups and graduate schools. Interested? Get into contact.

Actions to enhance your visibility

There are many things you can do to enhance the visibility of your research:

  • Analyse who is using your research and through which channels
  • Avoid journals that are not well-indexed
  • Create an ORCID
  • Blog and tweet selectively on your research topics
  • Deposit your publications in the university repository
  • Produce a short video pitch on your main research topic
  • Publish Open Access
  • Share an early version of your paper as pre-print (ArXiv, bioRxiv,, Cognet, RepEc, SSRN, PeerJ Preprints etc.)
  • Share your data (FigShare, Dutch Dataverse network etc.)
  • Upload full text of your papers to your researcher profiles or your own website
  • Use a stable and full author name and affiliation
  • Use research profiles to unambiguously link publications to you

Traditional and alternative metrics sites compared

Besides traditional citation counts, there are many ways of tracking research impacts. They try to capture the presence in new scholarly venues, presence and impact in social media and other forms of online engagement, such as views, downloads, bookmarks etc. Collectively, we refer to these as altmetrics, as opposed to traditional citation measurement using Web of Science, Scopus and other citation enhanced databases.


  Journal Citation Reports Scopus Web of Science Google Scholar Google Scholar Citations Microsoft Academic Search Mendeley ImpactStory PLoS Altmetric Plum Analytics
metrics for:                      





    a   b

institutions       b     b

journals         b
traditional metrics:                      
views/downloads               c  
news media                  
multidisciplinary c
free access       d d  
registration necessary                
paid service       b   b
advanced options:                      
data download/management c c c   c b b
data standardization/cleaning     c          
normalization         c c    
API possibilities c c c     c

aOnly items/persons/users included in the system (depends on data collected/uploaded by the users)
bPaid services: Mendeley Institutional Edition / Altmetric Institutional Edition / Altmetric Explorer
cWith restrictions/limitations
dArticle level metrics (Mendeley, Altmetric) and author profiles (ImpactStory) free to view



based on: Users, narcissism and control: tracking the impact of scholarly publications in the 21st century (SURFfoundation, 2012); last (partly) updated August 2017.

Metrics in Scopus

Author metrics

Open Scopus and search your name using the 'Search author'-tab. Select your name from the results list and scroll down to 'Research' to see various metrics like citations and h-index. You can click on 'View Author Evaluator' or 'View h-graph' to see a visual representation of author metrics.

Tip: In calculating metrics, Scopus only uses data going back to 1995.

Tip: Are there errors in your Scopus listing, e.g. missing documents or multiple author listings (b/c of spelling variants)? You can request changes to be made by clicking 'Request author detail corrections' at the top of the page with author information.

Article metrics

Open Scopus and search an article or a subject using the 'Document search'-tab. In the results list, the number of citations the article has received is visible in the last column ('Cited by'). Click on this number to see a list of citations; on this page, there is also the option to click 'Analyze results' (top of page) to see a visual representation of article metrics. 

Tip: In calculating metrics, Scopus only uses data going back to 1995.

Institutional metrics

Open Scopus and search your affiliation using the 'Affiliation search'-tab. In the results list, click on your organization to get an overview of collaborating institutions, subject areas and journal in which your organization has published. To view citation information on all papers from your affiliation, click on the number of documents from your affiliation. In the following screen you can limit these to specific years. At the top of the results lists, tick the checkbox to select all documents (use the dropdown menu to select all documents instead of the current page) and then press 'View citation overview' to view citation information on these documents.
NB. Comprehensive institutional metrics are available from Elsevier's separate product SciVal.

Tip: If the number of documents is too large to show the citation information on screen, you can download the citation information as a .csv file. The maximum number of documents citation information is available on (as .csv-file) is 20.000.

Tip: Scopus might have separate affiliations listed for e.g. research institutes or research schools within a university. You will see these listed in the Affiliation search results. To include papers from these separate affiliations, tick the checkboxes of all relevant affiliations and choose 'Show documents' at the top of the results list.

Metrics in Web of Science

Author metrics Web of Science

Open Web of Science and search your name using the 'Author search'-option. Enter your author name, and optionally proceed to select your research domain(s) and organization(s). In the results list, you can opt to view all results, or look at the tab 'Record sets' to distinguish between different authors with the same name and/or multiple entries for your own name (tick the boxes of the appropiate record sets and select 'View records').

You will now see a list with all your publications listed in Web of Science. Click 'Create citation report' (top right) to view author metrics (citations and h-index).

Tip: Web of Science uses ResearcherID to manage author names/citations. If you have a ResearcherID, you can manually add papers authored by you and correct any mistakes. You can also update your ResearcherID from your ORCID account. More information on creating ResearcherID and ORCID is available in workshop 1: Researcher profiles.


Article metrics

Open Web of Science and search an article or a subject using the 'Search' or 'Cited reference search'-options. In the results list, the number of citations the article has received is visible underneath each article ('Times cited'). Click on this number to see a list of citations; on this page, there is also the option to click 'Create citation report' (top right) to see more detailed article metrics. 

Tip: To view a visual representation of backwards and forwards referencing of a given article ('cited in/cited by'), click on the title of the article in the results list and choose 'Citation map' in the 'Cited References' box in the right sidebar.


Institutional metrics

Extensive institutional metrics are available through Thomson Reuters separate product InCites, but some instutional metrics can be derived directly from Web of Science. Search the institution's name in Web of Science 'Basic search' funtion, choosing 'Organization - enhanced' from the drop-down menu on the right. Alternatively, use the 'Select from index' option underneath the drop-down menu to search for the organization's name as used in Web of Science. 

Searching for the organization results in a list of papers that have the organization listed as affiliation in Web of Science. You can limit the results to e.g. specific years using the options on the left sidebar. Then click 'Create citation report' to see aggregated and detailed article metrics for these papers. 

Tip: The Citation Report feature is not available from a search containing more than 10,000 records. You can limit the number of results by restricting results to specific years of publication or other criteria.

Metrics in Google Scholar /Google Scholar Citations

Author metrics Google Scholar

Open Google Scholar and search your name or that of a colleague. If a (public) Google Citations profile exists, it will show up at the top of the results list. Click on the profile to see various metrics like citations, h-index and i10-index (the number of publications with at least 10 citations). 

Tip: More information on creating a Google (Scholar) account and activating Google Scholar Citations is available in workshop 1: Researcher profiles.

Article metrics

Open Google Scholar and search an article or subject. In the results list, the number of citations the article has received is visible underneath each article ('Cited by'). Click on this number to see a list of all citations.

Tip: When you access Google Scholar through the website of Utrecht University Library, you will have full-text access to all articles from journals Utrecht University subscribes to (recognizable by 'Fulltext@UBULink')

Metrics in Mendeley

Article metrics Mendeley

Open Mendeley (login required) and search an article or subject using the search bar in the tab 'Papers'. For each article, the number of Mendeley users that have added this paper to their Mendeley library ('readers') is shown underneath the information about the article. When you click on the article's title, more information on readership statistics can be found in the right sidebar.


Institutional metrics

Academic institutions can subscribe to Mendeley's Institutional Edition which offers, among other features, information on research production (papers from the institution present in Mendeley) and detailed readership information (which papers Mendeley users from that institution are reading/bookmarking).

Metrics in ImpactStory

Author metrics ImpactStory

Open ImpactStory and click 'Login'to create an account. You can import your research output connected with your ORCID. If needed, you can add articles, datasets etc. by filling out the respective boxes.

Instead of making your own impact report, you can also click on 'See an example profile' on the main website. You are then shown a sample page containing links to articles, a dataset, slides and a webpage.

Each item in your collection will have information added as to how often it is viewed/saved/cited/discussed recommended by scholars (blue boxes) and by the public (green boxes). To view details on these metrics (including their sources) click either on one of the blue/green boxes or on the title of the item. Each metric also carries a percentile range, measured against a reference set of all papers indexed in Web of Science the same year.

Tip: More information on creating an ORCID is available in the LibGuide Researcher profiles.

Article metrics

To view article level metrics in ImpactStory you need to make an impact report as described above under Author metrics. It is not possible to search for individual articles on ImpactStory. 

Metrics in PLOS One

Article metrics PLOS One

Open PLOS One (or any of the the other PLOS Journals) and search an article or subject. In the results list, underneath each article it is indicated whether the article has any views (both html views and downloads, in PLOS One and PubMedCentral), citations (in Scopus, Web of Science, CrossRef, PubMedCentral or Google Scholar), saves (in Mendeley or CiteULike) or shares/discussions (on Twitter, Facebook, blogs or in the comments on PLOS One itself). Click on either of these categories to see the metrics in more detail.

Metrics in Altmetric

Article metrics

AltmetricAnother commercial provider of altmetrics data is Altmetric. Their distinctive 'Altmetric donut' with data on coverage of articles in social media, news outlets, blogs, as well as Mendeley readers, are included in various databases.

As a demo, they have developed PLOS Impact Explorer, a PLOS-mashup that shows altmetrics for PLOS papers that have recently received coverage. It is not possible to search for specific papers using this tool.

Altmetric also offers a free bookmarklet you can add to your browser, that gives altmetrics data for any DOI it detects on a webpage you are viewing. 


Institutional metrics

Altmetric offers subscripion to two analytical tools: Altmetric for institutions, which allows you to see detailed metrics for papers on institutional, departmental and author levels, and Altmetric Explorer, which allows you to make a selection of papers from a specific journal, topic or PubMed search and see and download Altmetric data for these papers. Free access to Altmetric is available for librarians and institutional repository managers.

Metrics in Plum Analytics


Plum Analytics is a commercial product owned by Elsevier. In addition to author metrics and article metrics, Plum Analytics offers aggregated institution metrics to subscribing institutions.  PlumX metrics are shown in Scopus. To see some examples of the metrics Plum captures, go to