Identifying and understanding research impact

A comprehensive suite of metrics embedded throughout Scopus is designed to help facilitate evaluation and provide a better view of your research interests. Whether you are looking for metrics at the journal, article or author level, Scopus combines its sophisticated analytical capabilities with its unbiased and broad content coverage to help you build valuable insights.

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Research metrics

Research metrics give a balanced, multi-dimensional view for assessing the value of published research. Based on the depth and breadth of its content, Scopus works with researchers, publishers, bibliometricians, librarians, institutional leaders and others in academia to offer an evolving basket of metrics that complement more qualitative insights. Throughout Scopus, you can access multiple metrics at the journal, article and author levels.

CiteScore™ metrics - A new standard of journal citation impact

Don’t Speculate. Validate.

CiteScore™ metrics are a new standard to measure serial citation impact. Comprehensive, clear, current and free, CiteScore metrics help you to analyze the impact of all serial titles – including journals – in Scopus.

Explore CiteScore metrics

Journal metrics

Journal level metrics continue to be an important part of the basket of metrics, complementing new and alternative metrics to provide a multi-faceted view of a journal’s impact. On Scopus, you will find an evolving and expanding suite of journal metrics that go beyond just journals to include most serial titles, including supplements, special issues and conference proceedings. Freely available on Scopus you will find CiteScore metrics, SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) and Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP).

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CiteScore metrics: A family of eight indicators that offer complementary views to analyze the publication influence of serial titles of interest. Derived from the Scopus database — almost twice the size of the next-leading abstract and citation data provider — CiteScore metrics offer a more robust and accurate indication of a serial’s impact. Show more

CiteScore metrics are calculated using Scopus data for over 25,300 serial titles ― peer-reviewed journals, book series, conference proceedings and trade journals ― in 330 disciplines. CiteScore, the annual calculation for previous, complete years, is one component of the larger CiteScore metrics family which include the following eight indicators:

  • CiteScore
  • CiteScore Tracker
  • CiteScore Percentile
  • CiteScore Quartiles
  • CiteScore Rank
  • Citation Count
  • Document Count
  • Percentage Cited

CiteScore Tracker is calculated in the same way as CiteScore, but for the current year rather than previous, complete years. The CiteScore Tracker calculation is updated every month, as a current indication of a title’s performance.

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): A prestige metric that can be applied to journals, book series and conference proceedings. With SJR, the subject field, quality and reputation of the journal have a direct effect on the value of a citation. Show more

SJR accounts for both the number of citations received by a title and the importance or prestige of the titles where such citations come from. It is a variant of the eigenvector centrality measure used in network theory. Such measures establish the importance of a node in a network based on the principle that connections to high-scoring nodes contribute more to the score of the node. The SJR indicator, which is inspired by the PageRank algorithm, was developed for extremely large and heterogeneous journal citation networks. It is a size-independent indicator and ranks journals by their 'average prestige per article'.


average # of weighted citations received in a year
# of documents published in previous 3 years

Developed by: Professors Félix de Moya, Research Professor at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Vicente Guerrero Bote at University of Extremadura.

Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): Measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa. Show more

SNIP …further develops Eugene Garfield's notions of a field's 'citation potential' defined as the average length of references lists in a field and determining the probability of being cited, and the need in fair performance assessments to correct for differences between subject fields. Henk Moed, Journal of Informetrics, 4 (2010, pp 256-277)

Citation potential is shown to vary not only between journal subject categories – groupings of journals sharing a research field – or disciplines (e.g., journals in Mathematics, Engineering and Social Sciences tend to have lower values than titles in Life Sciences), but also between journals within the same subject category. For instance, basic journals tend to show higher citation potentials than applied or clinical journals, and journals covering emerging topics higher than periodicals in classical subjects or more general journals.

SNIP corrects for such differences. Its strengths and limitations are open to critical debate. All empirical results are derived from the Scopus abstract and indexing database. SNIP values are updated once a year, providing an up-to-date view of the research landscape.


journal’s citation count per paper
citation potential in its subject are

Developed by: Professor Henk Moed at CTWS, University of Leiden

Article-level metrics

Article-level metrics (ALMs) quantify the reach and impact of published research. Scopus now integrates data from PlumX Metrics as the primary source of its article-level metrics, along with traditional measures (such as citations), to present a richer and more comprehensive picture of an individual article’s impact. Show more

The Article Metrics module can be found on Scopus in the Document details page,  where a sidebar highlights Scopus citation count (along with percentile benchmarking), Field-weighted citation impact and PlumX Metrics. Clicking on “View all metrics” opens a more detailed Metrics page, displaying all available metrics and the underlying content for further analysis and understanding.

PlumX Metrics is Plum Analytics’ comprehensive, item-level metrics that provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment. To support like-with-like analysis and help make sense of the huge amounts of data involved, they are divided into five categories:

  • Usage: A way to signal if anyone is reading the articles or otherwise using the research. Usage is the number one statistic researchers want to know after citations.
  • Captures: Indicates that someone wants to come back to the work — can be a leading indicator of future citations.
  • Mentions: Measurement of activities such as news articles or blog posts about research — a way to tell that people are truly engaging with the research.
  • Social media: This category includes the tweets, Facebook likes, etc. that reference the research. Social Media can help measure “buzz” and attention. Social media can also be a good measure of how well a particular piece of research has been promoted.
  • Citations: This category contains both traditional citation indexes such as Scopus, as well as citations that help indicate societal impact such as Clinical or Policy Citations

The Plum Print: For quick and easy understanding, these five categories of metrics are also displayed as a data visualization known as the Plum Print. Each circle in the Plum Print represents the metrics in the associated category by color. The larger the circle, the more metrics in that category.

The five categories are represented separately because each one represents a different type of engagement, and should not be combined into a single score.

View an article on Scopus to see how Article-level metrics work

Author metrics

Scopus bibliometrics can help you assess an individual author’s research output and scholarly impact. The depth and breadth of content on Scopus—which includes 2.5 million pre-1996 recently added record—provides the quality data needed to build accurate measurements of an author’s impact. Show more

With Scopus you can easily analyze and track an individual’s citation history. In addition to finding an author’s total citation and document counts from an author’s details page, you can also access the following metrics and tools:

h-index and h-graph: Rates a scientist's performance based on his or her career publications, as measured by the lifetime number of citations each article receives. The measurement depends on both quantity (number of publications) and quality (number of citations) of an academic's publications.

Citation overview tracker: An adjustable table that includes the number of times each document has been cited per publication year.

Analyze author output: A collection of in-depth and visual analysis tools designed to provide a better picture of an individual’s publication history and influence.

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For an easy-to-share handout on key research impact metrics, download the Research Metrics Quick Reference poster developed by Library Connect in collaboration with librarian Jenny Delasalle.