How to track citations / impact factor tools

One of our most popular blog posts is How to track citations – Google Scholar vs. Web of Science
This post aims to be an updated and expanded version!

How to track citations – Web of Science, Google Scholar and Scopus

A search for an article on Web of Science gives the following result:


This article has been cited 63 times.

You can then create a citation reports for your search results:



Note that Web of Science only includes citations from journals included in Web of Science.

The same search on Google Scholar gives the following results:


Note that the number of citations is much higher – 164! Google Scholar may contain duplicate results due to variations in citation methods.

Another database which will be of use to social scientists is Scopus. The same search gives 76 citations:


Again, Scopus will only return results from journals included in Scopus. It is also worth noting that coverage begins in 1996 (as oppose to 1945 for Web of Science).

Impact factor tools – h-index and altmetrics

H-index or “An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output”

Both Web of Science and Scopus will let you see an author’s h-index.

Web of Science gives one author’s h-index as 27:


Whereas Scopus gives the same author an h-index of 22:


Note the differences in the years covered and therefore the number of articles published and the citations.

Altmetrics are an alternative way of measuring the impact of an article, according to

“altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship”

Scopus has a built in altmetrics tracker, provided by the website

For instance, the following article has been cited 6 times:alt

On the right hand side of the screen you can see the altmetrics box, giving details of online mentions. Click “see details” for the full report:alt2


About Nuffield College Library

We are a social sciences library serving Nuffield College and the University of Oxford
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