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Research Support

XJTLU Library Research Support Guide will help to locate essential information about finding citations, desseminating your research, etc.

Why Citations Matter ?

As a traditional indicator for the impact and quality of academic outputs, citation plays an irreplaceable role in the assessment of research papers. Resulting from citation analysis or bibliometric analysis, citation counts quantify the citation usage of academic works, telling how often a work was cited in other works. 

On the one hand, with more and more scholarly works published every year, researchers have to be selective when gathering research materials. They must cite other's works when writing their own work. These are the evidences of their own research. On the other hand, if a work is cited by others, it proves that the work is accepted and acknowledged by others. Citations can also help researchers to understand how their researches are reaching the readers, find out the pattern in which their works are used, and add value to their resumes when applying for jobs and grants. 

NOTE: Citation count is not the only metric that measures the research impact of a work or a researcher. traditional metrics like h-index, new alternative metrics like online views, downloads and comments are also important when assessing the impact of a work. 

Bibliographic databases, or citation databases, can help to find out citation metrics for articles or individual authors, for example, times cited, citing references, h-index, etc. Two of the most famous citation databases are Web of Science and Scopus which will be introduced in the following sections. 


Today, in citation databases such as Web of Science and Scopus, h-index can be easily calculated.H-index is the number of articles "h" in a group of publications "N" that have received "h" or more citations. For example, if researcher A has published 20 (N) articles, and 12 (h) of his articles have received 12 (h) or more citations, then his h-index is 12. H-index can also be applied to journals. It is more like a median, which discounts the disproportionate weight of highly cited and uncited papers. But just as a scholarly work takes years to be cited, h-index may appear to be more favorable to older and more experienced researchers. 

How to Define Your Own Citations

In Web of Science, you can not only search for references, but also get citation metrics through the database's analysis functionality. 


  • Only indexed works in SCI, SSCI, and other indexes in WoS can be found in Web of Science.  
  • XJTLU Library's Web of Science access link can be found at our Database A-Z list.

Web of Science provides various search options. By using Author Search, you will be able to track your own research impact or the research of other authors you are interested in. You can search by author name or by ResearcherID or ORCID.

Step 1: Enter the last name of the researcher in the Last Name field;
Step 2: Type the author's first name in the First Name field;
Step 3: Click Include alternative name to add rows to search for known variations of the author's name;


Step 4: Select the author’s country and affiliation if asked;
Step 5: Find the author according to their affiliation and subject category in the Author Search Results page.

Now you can view the author's records, including the Citation Network which can help you to define the h-index and citations of the author:

You can click "View as a set of results to export, analyze, and link to full text" to view a record list for the author's published articles. You can refine the results according to your needs, or find the full-text links to the publisher's site. Most importantly, there are a few analysis options on the right corner of the result list -- "Analyze Results" and "Create Citation Report".


"Analyze Results" will help to get more publishing patterns of the author, e.g., research fieldspublishing yearsco-authors' countries and organizationsfunding information, etc. "Create Citation Report" will generate a citation report of the author, including total citations, h-indexhighly-cited articles, citations by year, etc. You will be able to get an overview of the citation metrics.

If you would like to view the citation information of an individual article, click the title of that article in the record list. Citation information will be shown on the right of the detailed record page. The column will reflect the times cited, cited reference, citation map, most recent citations and link to a list of articles (in WoS core collection) which have cited the work. You can also set a citation alert so that notifications will be sent when the article gets a new citation.

Scopus has broader indexes than Web of Science. It also provides the functionality of citation analysis. By using Scopus's Author Search, you can find an individual page for a author, all his/her documents indexed in Scopus and his/her citation metrics. It is even easier to search for an author within Scopus than in Web of Science. 


  • Only indexed works in Scopus can be found in the database.    
  • XJTLU Library's Scopus access link can be found at our Database A-Z list.


1. The search interface of Author Search requires not only the author name but also his/her affiliation information. Type in the author's complete last name in the 1st search box, his/her initials in the 2nd box (separated by ".", or you can also enter the full name) and the complete name of his/her affiliation in the 3rd box. To avoid the same author names, you can search by ORCID.

2. In the result list. Find the author you are looking for. You can view all his/her documents or citation overview by selecting the author. You can also see the h-index metric on this page.

3. Click the author's name, and you will be directed to an individual author page.  Here all of the indexed documents published by the author will be listed, along with his citation metrics overview. You can select different options to view the detailed analysis of the author's output, h-graph, citations, etc. "View potential author matches" might help you to find additional records of the author if there are any variants of author name, affiliation name, etc. The "Set citation alerts" link enables you to set alerts for the author's citation changes.