Skip to main content

Measuring Your Impact: Research Metrics: Author-level Metrics

This is a guide to the various metrics used to measure research impact.

What are author-level metrics?

Author-level metrics attempt to quantify impact by analyzing citations arising from an individual author's publications.

Advantages: These metrics can give a more holistic idea of author impact by including a wide range of journals.

Disadvantages:These metrics are biased toward more prolific and more established authors. They also are not generalizable across disciplines.

Einstein Research Profiles

Einstein Research Profiles is a database that includes metrics for Einstein and affiliated researchers. Metrics include:

  • A fingerprint that represents the collective expertise and experience of the researcher.
  • Research concepts that have been most significantly present over this researcher's career
  • Institutional network of the researcher
  • Coauthor network of the researcher

Author Citation Reports on Web of Science

Use Web of Science's Author Search to find all the publications by a particular author and create a Citation Report showing the author's most highly cited articles, citation trends, average citations per article and other metrics, including the h-index.


The h-index, or Hirsch index, measures the impact of a particular scientist rather than a journal. It takes into account the number of papers published and the number of citations received by these papers resulting in a single number rating. For example, a scholar with an h-index of 5 has published 5 papers, each of which has been cited by others at least 5 times.

Note that an individual's h-index may vary by database. This is because the databases index different journals and cover different years. For instance, Web of Science calculates an h-index using the years 1985-present. Google Scholar Citations covers a different set of years and journals.

  • Advantages: Combines assessment of both quantity (no. of papers) and quality (no. of citations)
  • Disadvantages:
    • A work’s first citation can take years
    • Does not take into account the citation evolution of the most highly cited papers

Google Scholar: My Citations

Google Scholar Citations has the following features:

  • Authors can track their own publications (tracking of other authors' works is only possible if they have a profile). 
  • The types of metrics utilized are a simple citation count, h-index, and i10-index (the number of publications with at least 10 citations).
  • Set up automatic updates to the citation metrics.
  • Manually update your profile.
  • View information on citations for other authors by doing a search for them in Google Scholar and the scholarly metrics information will be listed under the citation information.