You have spent time and effort to pursue and publish your research, but how can you help others find and access it? How can you know who is using your work, and how? This guide offers some ideas about how to understand and increase your scholarly impact.
Create a scholarly identity with tools that help you (and others) track your research outputs. A good place to start is an ORCID iD and/or a Google Scholar Profile.
ORCID (Open Research and Contributor ID) is a globally recognized non-profit organization that provides a registry of free and persistent digital ID numbers (called "ORCID iDs") that connects you to your legitimate research output. You can register for an ORCID iD, which you then own. You can control the visibility of your details (see examples below).
Grantmaking institutions like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) require applicants to have ORCID numbers, and some journals offer services to link publications to the author's ORCID iD.
Many SUNY Oneonta colleagues use ORCID identifiers. Here is an example of an ORCID registry page:
Darren Chase, Library Director: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4144-3222
You can register a profile in Google Scholar that links to any of your articles indexed via Google, and provides getting alerts about new citations. To sign up, go to Google Scholar while signed into your Google account and click on "My Profile" at the top left to build a profile.
Make sure to select the option "Don't automatically update my profile. Send me an email to review and confirm updates" to prevent your profile being linked with citations from authors with similar names to yours.
How many times have your articles been cited, tweeted, or mentioned? Online tools can help you track the reach of your scholarly outputs.
All of these tools should be used responsibly. They measure citations and mentions, but none of them can tell you if the mentions are positive or negative or the content of the scholarship is high quality. Critics of bibliometrics note that no measurement tool works for every discipline or evaluation need, and all measuring methods should be described transparently before they are applied. Some measures, like the H-index, are biased toward later-career scholars.
The h-index is used to calculate either an author’s OR a publication’s influence based on the number of times their articles have been cited.
H-Index = number of papers (h) with a citation number ≥ h
An author that has published at least 25 articles that have been cited at least 25 times each would have an h-index of 25, for example.
Since it is widely applied, it is a good idea to know your h-index as an author. However, it is not a good metric for early-career scholars, it only measures citations (not quality of content), and it should be used within a wider discussion of a scholar’s impact. The Conversation.com has a good Explainer article that discusses the history of the h-index as well as some pros and cons of the metric.
Find (and, if necessary, update) your h-index at Google Scholar, Scopus, or Web of Science’s Publons service.
The most well-known altmetrics tools are usually applied to individual journal articles to measure social reach, including social media mentions (tweets or posts in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more), saves in citation management programs like Mendeley, and attention from news media or blogs. You will find them on journal websites, institutional repositories, and databases. Here are a few of the most recognizable: