Document-level metrics

Document-level metrics

Essential to bibliometric analysis are the publication articles, chapters or books and a measurement of the subsequent citations they receive. These metrics are useful for showing scholarly interest in a specific item as they count where the item has been directly cited in future research.

Citation counts

A count of the number of times future work has included the item in their reference list.

All citation indexes provide this metric (Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, Dimensions)

Field-weighted/normalised/relative citation impact metrics

These types of metrics attempt to contextualise citation counts by factoring in the age and research area of the item. They measure citations received by a document relative to the world average of citations received by documents of similar type, year of publication, and research field. Typically a value of 1.00 indicates that the document has been cited as expected based on the global average.

For examples of this type of metric see FWCI (Scopus), FCR and RCR (DImensions), and Web of Science offers the CNCI but only to subscribers of their analytics platform Incites.

Things to consider

  • Citations are dependent on the database you source them from. Google Scholar is the largest but this is because other indexers curate their content in an attempt to only count citations to journals that meet their quality criteria. 
  • Citations can be positive or negative, redacted or flawed studies can still attract large numbers of citations
  • Disciplines or individuals who engage in self citations can affect the counts (some analytics tools can allow for the removal of these)
  • These types of metrics are only telling one aspect of impact, it is always recommended to use qualitative and quantitative methods to show the full impact of publication.

Scopus metrics

Scopus provides a number of document level metrics as outlined here

Scopus offers a citation count and a Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) for each article.  

 For examplethe Scopus database has counted 380 citations for the following article, and it has a Field-Weighted Citation Impact of 9.73, indicating that it is far surpassing citation expectations.

Dimensions metrics

Dimensions uses a number of document level metrics as outlined here

Metrics unique to DImensions are:

  • Recent citation count
  • Field Citation Ration (FCR) which indicates the relative citation performance of a publication when compared to similarly-aged articles in its subject area.
  • Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) which is only available for articles published in PubMed and are two years or older.

Search for the article and click on the Dimensions Badge for additional information about the article.