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Impact Factors

Understanding the Journal Impact Factor and the Author Impact Factor.

Article Level Metrics

Article level metrics are an evolving area. Measures include the number of citations in social media sites, as well as open peer or crowd-based recommendations or reviews.  

Altmetrics is the term used to denote the social-media-based, article-level metrics.

See the boxes on the right for some examples of these measures.

For more information see the Altmetrics Manifesto.


Traditional Citations


The traditional proxy measure of impact, the citation, is applicable to the individual article as well. The number of times a given article is cited by other articles can be tracked in the traditional literature. Several databases offer the feature to find articles within their database that cite a given article.

NOTE: Each source of metrics may show different numbers due to differences in the sources they use.

CINAHL Plus - Use Cited Reference search (click on More at the top of the screen to see this option) to identify the target article, select it then click Find Citing Articles.

Google Scholar - See Cited by links below each search result

PsycInfo - See Times Cited in this Database link on the left in the single citation view

Web of Science - See Times Cited links at the bottom of each search result

Raw data associated with an article is sometimes made available to other researchers for re-use. Resulting articles may cite the original article or the dataset itself.

Dryad - can see number of views of data record and number of downloads of datasets

Social Media Citations


Citations to a given article may also appear in less traditional contexts such as in social media services. 

These services can be searched individually to gain numbers of references to an article.

  • Twitter
  • Mendeley
  • Facebook
  • blogs
  • Some journals are also providing statistics such as numbers of article views and downloads.  Example eLIFE:

     Mouseover the image to view more details.


Mouseover the images to view more details.

There are aggregating services that report citation numbers from non-traditional, and sometimes traditional, sources.

  •  Altmetric- provides alternative metrics for recent articles. These include news outlets, policy sources, blogs and patents. Download the Altmetric bookmarklet. When you are in the abstract of an article, click on the bookmarklet in your toolbar, and you will get your Altmetric score. You can search for your profile on to see all of your altmetric data (Dimensions owns Altmetrics).


  • ImpactStory- aggregates diverse impacts from articles, datasets, blog posts, and more.


  • PLOSOne- provides article-level metrics for each article it publishes. See the Metrics section of each article for Article-Level Metrics (ALMs).



Open Review

You can expose your research to the wider community and invite wider pre- and post-publication review which can make for more timely impact from your work. Open review also allows for others to view your article as something to be recommended including the reasons why.

Faculty of 1000 - post-publication peer review, UW does not have a current subscription.