Measuring Research Impact with the Web of Science and InCites

When embarking on a research assessment project that includes the use of research metrics, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. With all the databases and new tools available, that provide metrics such as times cited, h-index, and other kinds of indicators, where should you start your research impact analysis?

For projects in the health sciences, the Web of Science (WoS) and InCites Benchmarking & Analytics would be great choices. These resources are available through the library and provide access to an extensive citation network, based upon the journal articles included in WoS. Both tools combined provide metrics to help you analyze research impact at the article, author, journal, and organizational level.

WoS is a multidisciplinary database that goes back to 1945 and was an early adopter of tracking citation data. It contains basic metrics at the article level, such as citation count, and indicators for individual authors. Running a citation report for an author will display metrics such as total papers, total citations, and h-index. Author Impact Beamplots are a new evaluation tool from the WoS that tracks the impact of an author over the course of their career. Authors can also claim their WoS profile using Publons to curate their profile and make it public. A Publons profile can generate citation visualizations and showcase other types of academic work, such as peer-review contributions.

If your project requires the use of additional metrics and more complex research analysis, consider using InCites, one of the suite of tools available from Clarivate. It is based on content from WoS and allows you to analyze data from 1980 to the present. Users can look at research impact in multiple ways, including researchers, organizations, locations, research areas, publication sources, and funding agencies. You can create benchmarks to compare similar schools and departments to each other, generate visualizations, and save your work to a report for future reference. Other metrics available in InCites include authorship position, category normalized citation impact, open access data, and much more.

HSLS will be offering Web of Science and InCites: Measuring Research Impact as a class on October 18, 2021, that will take a deep dive on how to use WoS and InCites for measuring research impact. You can also reach out to Stephen Gabrielson to schedule an individual or group consultation to learn more.

~Stephen Gabrielson