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Bibliometrics and Altmetrics: Measuring the Impact of Knowledge

This guide includes information on which of the databases contain citation measures that can be used to gage either an author, article or journal impact.

Google Scholar - Feature #1

See how many times a document has been cited

Note: Google Scholar includes citations from an array of sources in its "Cited by" calculation, including PowerPoint and Word documents, and gives everything an equal rank.



GoogleScholar - Feature #2

Create a public profile - this profile includes individual's citation metrics as calculated by Google.

Note: A Google account is necessary to create this profile. Follow the instructions at

Online Tools for Enhanced Analysis

Limitations and Criticism

Be aware of some limitations of Google Scholar:

  1. Google Scholar does not index the full text of all scholarly articles. Therefore, some articles citing the item under study may not be counted.
  2. Google Scholar gives everything an equal rank, including PowerPoints and Word documents.
  3. Authors' names can be challenged to search. To improve your search, use only author's last name (no first name or initials) and main title in quotations. For example, bao "superior thermal conductivity of single-layer graphene".
  4. The term [CITATION] at the beginning of an entry indicates that the full text of the item is not accessible through Google Scholar. To see the full text of the item, search Worldcat UMD, UBorrow or Citation Finder. To make your discovery of full text easier, consider downloading LibX to your browser of choice. After the download, you will be able to see Find It button next to an entry:

For a quick overview of the limitations and critiques to Google Scholar, check the Wikipedia articles:

  1. Google Scholar
  2. Google Scholar and Academic Libraries

For more in depth research from the scholarly community, use...

"Google Scholar" AND (pros OR cons OR advantages OR critiques) 


... as keywords in databases, such as Academic Search Complete , and Library & Information Science Source