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Assessing the Impact of Research: Alternative Methods

This guide will help you understand how to assess the impact of scholarly research, including explanations of terminology and assessment tools.

Other Databases That Included Cited Searching

Many databases allow cited searching but you will see overlap with Web of Science. Compare cited references from the ISI Web of Science results and manually remove duplicates. Cited references include only those that are indexes within that one particular database. 

Database Search Tips Coverage

Computer science

  • Use variations of name: kotter j* or kotter j.p. or kotter john


EBSCOhost Business Source Premier
Business and management

  • Choose More, Cited References
  • Or search for article and see Cited References for each item
  • Use variations of name: kotter jp or kotter j.p. or kotter john



Google Scholar

  • Search for variations of name using author: tag


IEEE Xplore

  • Click on Author Search
  • Type the author's name in and click Go
  • From results, click AbstractPlus
  • At the bottom of record for article, check for Citing Documents


JSTOR - Citation Locator
Historical full text archives of academic journals, but current issues not included
  • Search for occurences of your citations within full text articles in JSTOR. Be aware that there is an embargo for many titles so not all current issues are searchable.
  • Use variations of author and title of work, click Search
  • Click on article to see cited references for an article in JSTOR, if there are any you will see a link to the right of the article image.


  • Click the tab Author Citations



American Psychological Association database.

  • Choose PsycINFO Cited Reference tab
  • Use variations of author and title of work (or truncate first name with *, for example: Plous, S*), click Search



Elsevier publications including humanities, social sciences, and science.

  • Click Search
  • Type in Author's name choose drop down for author, then Search
  • View article by clicking on title, then on right choose Cited By
  • Another method, from any search screen, type in the author w/9 title of work and choose References from drop down (w/9 searches for the author within 9 words of the title of the work)




  • Click on author search.
  • Enter author's name.
  • Select appropriate name(s) and click Get References
  • Select the record(s) you wish to find cited sources for and click Get Related
  • At next window, click on Citing References



EBSCOhost Databases

For a full list of UT EBSCO databases click here.

Select Database Descriptions:

  • Academic Search Premier - covers articles from a broad spectrum of disciplines as well as general popular periodicals. Cited references begin in 2002.
  • CINAHL - covers journals articles and other types of publications in the areas of nursing and allied health.
  • EconLit - covers articles, book chapters, and books in all areas of economics. Cited references begin 6/18/2007.
  • Historical Abstracts - covers articles, book chapters, and books on the history of the world (excluding the U.S. and Canada) from 1450 to the present. Cited references begin 11/28/2007.



  1. Click on "Cited References" in the navigation bar across the top.
    (Sometimes "Cited References" is found as an option under "More" on the navigation bar; as it is in the CINAHL database)
  2. Search for the author or article title to be cited.
  3. Check the box next to each relevant item in the results that has a "Times Cited in this Database" link.
  4. Click the "Find Citing Articles" button at the top of the results to see the articles that are citing the original source.

Espacenet's Worldwide Patent Database

Database Description:

Espacenet - a worldwide patent database developed and maintained by the European Patent Office containing patent information for over 80 countries and patenting agencies.  This is not a complete database of all the world's patents and while some of the patents databases are available in full text, others only have bibliographic information plus an abstract.


To see if a patent has been cited by other patents:

  1. Go to Espacenet
  2. In the left column, click on patent number search.
  3. Keep the database selection set to "Worldwide".
  4. Put the patent number in the patent number box (if necessary, include the two letter country code immediately before the number if too many results are retrieved from a plain number search).
  5. On the results list, click on the title of the patent to display the bibliographic data screen.
  6. On the bibliographic data screen, click on the red "View list of citing documents" which should be near the middle of the screen.

Full Text Journal Collections

Database Descriptions:

  • JSTOR - covers past years of scholarly journals in all disciplines, cutting off at volumes published one to five years ago.
  • Project Muse - covers approximately 400 humanities and social sciences journals representing over 60 scholarly publishers.


These full-text journal collections do not provide a special search option for finding citing articles or show links to citing articles.  But since the full text of the articles also includes the references, it is possible to search for citations using basic keyword searching methods.

Be Aware: Each of these collections has a somewhat different search mechanism, so the directions given here have been written in general terms that then must be applied to the specific search entry requirements of a given collection. 

  1. Search the full text articles, including the references, for the author last name and the article title to be cited using the advanced search option if available.
  2. If necessary, enclose the title words in quotations to force searching as a phrase.
  3. Do not limit the search to the author or title fields.
  4. Take advantage of any search functions that allow you to limit to document type or other feature that would help exclude non-relevant material.
  5. Scan the results for citing references from other authors ignoring hits on the original article and self citations.

Google Scholar

The citation information in Google Scholar is extracted from the scholarly journal articles within the Scholar database and from the U.S. patents contained in the Google Patents database.   Users have the option to eliminate the patents as the source of citation data and/or the option to include citations from legal journals and opinions from the federal and state courts.     If a publication has been cited by these sources, it will contain a "Cited By Link" in its entry; clicking on that link will display the citing journal articles and patents (and the court opinions, if selected)

  How to Find Citation Counts via Google Scholar and "Who is Citing Whom"

  1. Go to Google Scholar.
  2. Select Advanced Scholar Search (link to right of search button).
  3. Enter the appropriate search terms for the item under study.  Enter just enough information to find what you need - do not fill in the complete search form.    
  4. Click on the Search Scholar button.
  5. Locate the correct article in the search results list.
  6. If the article was cited by others, you will see a "Cited by" link at the bottom of the record. Click this link to view who has cited this item. For more information about searching see Google Scholar's Help pages.


Be aware:

  • Google Scholar does not index all scholarly articles; therefore, some articles citing the item under study may not be counted.
  • Author names can be tricky to search and the results can vary greatly depending on how the name is entered; we recommend searching only the author's last name and combining that with the main title in quotations.
  • Variants in how the item is cited can result in more than one entry for the item under study.


Software & Programs for Google Scholar Citation Data

Publish or Perish (PoP)
PoP is downloadable software providing enhanced analysis of Google Scholar citation data.  For more information and access to the software, see Publish or Perish on the website.

CIDS (Citation Impact Discerning Self-citations)
CIDS will analyze publications for self-citation data; this includes the h- and g-indexes calculated both with all cites and then without self-cites.  The service is free, however, limitations are many.   According to the FAQ page, only one search per email is allowed.  There is also a limit of 200 items (in the tutorial, it says 500 items) for the analysis.  The analysis takes about 1 minute per item to calculate.

    IEEE Xplore

    Database Description

    IEEE Xplore contains almost 2 million articles and papers from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer's (IEEE) journals and conference proceedings plus the IEEE published standards; Institution of Engineering and Technoloyg (IET) journal articles and conference proceedings are also available.  The subject of "Electrical Engineering" is broadly defined here and articles may be found from all areas of engineering in which electronics may be applied.   IEEE Xplore's citation information only covers what IEEE and IET publications are being cited by other IEEE and IET publications. 


    1. Find the article your interested in (search by author, title, etc.),
    2. Click on the "Abstract Plus" link under the article's citation in the results list,
    3. Scroll the page down to the last category which is "Citing Documents",
    4. Citations listed here are IEEE journal articles or conference papers that cite this item.
      (Note: if an item does not have a "Citing Documents" section, it may be assumed that this item has not been cited by other IEEE or IET publications.)


    Database Description:

    MathSciNet indexes the mathematical literature and has a special search features called "Author Citations". "The Citation Database is based on the information contained in reference lists drawn from certain journals covered by MathSciNet. Reference lists in all of the journals covered in the Citation Database go back to a publication year of 2000. A smaller number of journals have reference lists in MathSciNet back to 1997."  


    • Click on the "Author Citations" tab at the top of the search box
    • Enter either the author's "lastname" or "lastname, firstinitial" in the search box
    • If more than one author matches the search, click on the scroll arrow in the box and select the appropriate author (you will only be able to select one author at a time from the list)
    • A list of the author's publications that have been cited will be displayed.
    • In the left column labeled "Citations", next to each publication, is the number of times the publication has been cited by other publications in the MathSciNet database.
    • To see what the citing publications are:
    • Click on the cited publication's title in the "Publications" column
    • On the record for the publication, near the upper right corner, will be a gray box with "From References" and "From Reviews" links
    • Click on these links to see the citing publications


    Database Description:

    PubMed covers bio-medical and life sciences journal articles. Links to citing articles found in the PubMed Central collection of full text journals.


    1. Search for an author or article title to be cited.
    2. Click on the title of the item from the results list.
    3. In the right-hand column, look for the box labeled "Cited by X PubMed Central articles" where X is the number of times cited. 
      Note: if the right-hand column does not have the "Cited by" box, assume that no PubMed Central articles have cited this publication.

    ScienceDirect (Elsevier)

    Database Description:

    This search covers articles from Elsevier publications and articles from society publications for which Elsevier provides online access.  Subject coverage is multidisciplinary and covers business, humanities, medicine, the sciences and social sciences.  


    If the article is from an Elsevier publications or a publication hosted on the Elsevier platform:
    1. Go to Science Direct
    2. Search for an author or article title to be cited.
    3. Click on a desired item in the search results to view the full record.
    4. Click on the "Cited by in Scopus" link in the upper right corner of the article's box to see if items in the Scopus database cite this one.  (Note, the UTK Libraries do not subscribe to the Scopus database, however, Scopus will let you see a "Preview" which lists citing items.)

    If the article is not from a publication on Science Direct:
    1. Go to Science Direct
    2. Click on the "Advanced Search" option
    3. Enter the author and/or title of the citation you wish to track and change the "within" box from "All Fields" to "References"
    4. The resulting list will be the citing articles
    5. Caution: make sure that your search in step 3 above is unique enough to only retrieve the specific citation you wish to track.

    Caution: do not compare the citations counts across these two different methods.  The first method finds citing articles from both Elsevier's Science Direct publications as well as other publishers via the Scopus database; the second method is less comprehensive and only finds citing articles from Elsevier's Science Direct publications. 

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