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Bibliometrics and citation analysis: Article impact

Determining article impact

You can use citation counts to see how many times a specific article has been cited by others.

Cited reference searching allows you to find articles that have cited previously published research.

Because many databases index each citation listed in a bibliography, it is possible to search the cited references. 

You can follow a particular cited reference, or cited author, forward in time to find more current articles that have also cited that author or research.

Searching for cited references is useful to locate current research based on earlier research, see how a particular research topic is being used to support other research, track the history of a research topic, or to track the research of a particular researcher.

However, not all databases support "cited reference searching".

Databases for citation searching

Web of Science

  • Choose Web of Science
  • Choose Cited Reference Search
  • Enter minimal details (e.g. Author and year, for example Clegg, W  and 2004)
  • Click on View Record in Web of Science to see list of Citing articles for each paper


  • Choose Scopus
  • Select Document search and search for the specific article
  • OR select Author search and enter the specific author's last name, name and affiliation
  • Click the title of the article to open the article page
  • Citation information and other metrics will be available in the Metrics box in the top right box.
  • Metrics are supplied by Plum Analytics

 Google Scholar 

  • Choose Advanced Search Options
  • Enter details of specific article
  • You can include affiliation (eg Newcastle) in the top boxes, author, limit by year, limit by subject area
  • Click on Cited by in results list to see citing articles


  • Choose EBSCO host
  • Select the specific database that you would like to use
  • Search for the specific article
  • Open the article page
  • Citation information is available through the PlumX metrics link in the left hand menu

Web of Science tutorial

Scopus Tutorial

PlumX Metrics

Plum Analytics aims to provide a more comprehensive measure of a researcher's impact by collecting data about usage of citations, data sets, open access publications, presentations, blogs and other types of scholarly communication. These metrics are available at article level and is collected from multiple sources. For more information about Plum Analytics and their 5 categories of metrics, visit their metrics page