PlumX Metrics in Scopus

Scopus has introduced PlumX metrics into Scopus, following their recent takeover of the company. These come in 5 categories:

PlumX Metrics green Usage – e.g. clicks, downloads, views, library holdings

PlumX Metrics purpleCaptures – indicating that someone wants to come back to the work – bookmarks, favourites, readers, watchers

PlumX Metrics yellow  Mentions – news articles or blog posts about research. Includes comments, reviews, blog posts, wikipedia links, news media.

PlumX Metrics blue.pngSocial media – tweets, likes, shares

PlumX Metrics orangeCitations

When you are searching in Scopus look out for the image below as this information is now available as part of our subscription. Click on it to see the full detail available. Not every article will attract this kind of attention so you won’t see the image every time.

Scopus PlumX

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Do metrics reflect your academic achievements?

A chess piece wearing a golden crown

Universities already have their world rankings (and some REF areas) assessed with metrics. Individual researchers may well find they are being asked about their own metrics. This post lists four places to check your bibliometric profile and consider how well it reflects your work. It’s worth doing this, particularly to identify where metrics may NOT be capturing what you consider your successes. Simply claiming “metrics don’t work” or have limitations for your area is not as effective as demonstrating it!

There is no one definitive place to get an accurate count of your publications and citations: each source listed below indexes a limited amount of scholarly content and the figures will reflect that. This is particularly a problem for subject areas that are not well covered (typically Humanities/Social Sciences) and which do not publish primarily journal articles. Older papers (and older citations) can also be missing, although content coverage seems to be expanding on most services.


Swansea University has a subscription to Elsevier’s Scopus database which is the source used for university rankings and some REF UoAs. You will have a profile on Scopus if it has indexed at least one of your papers and it takes the affiliation of your most recent paper. If you have more than one profile, you need to correct this: there is a “Request Author Details Correction” on a profile page; it can take a few weeks for this to get processed.

On your author profile page you can see:

  • Total number of papers indexed by Scopus (you may want to consider what’s been missed)
  • Total number of citations to your papers on Scopus: sort your list of papers by “Cited By” to see your most highly cited (how many have not been cited at all?)
  • Your Scopus h-index
  • A graph showing citations over time: this will tail off as it takes time for citations to accrue


Scival (another Elsevier product) uses the same citation data from Scopus to give you further statistics. SciVal uses a limited date range (check the top of the page for the options) so you may see less papers/citations on SciVal than on Scopus.

SciVal can tell you:

  • How many of your papers were in the top 10% most cited worldwide.
  • How many of your papers were published in the top 10% of journals: you need to select a journal metric for this: “CiteScore” is Elsevier’s version of the Journal Impact Factor; “SNIP” attempts to normalise for your subject area.
  • Your Field Weighted Citation Index: this metric should not be used if you have under 50 papers, and even for higher numbers should be treated with caution.

With both Scopus and SciVal metrics, you may wish to compare yourself against colleagues in the same field: comparisons across subject areas will not work as citation and publication patterns differ.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar does not give a detailed list of what it indexes which weakens its case for robust use of its metrics. However, it is much more comprehensive than Scopus or Incites in terms of content, particularly for Humanities and Social Science areas. Comparing your content here against Scopus can give an idea of how much is being missed when Scopus metrics are used.

To see your metrics you will need to create a profile (example here): there is a good guide here on the ImpactStory blog. You can then see:

  • Total citations
  • Your Google Scholar h-index
  • A graph of your citations over time

You can also use the “Follow” button to get alerted to new citations. Google Scholar gives a count of citations for each paper – click on the number to see what is being counted. This is likely to be (much) higher than on Scopus/Web of Science, partly because more book data is included but also perhaps some less scholarly sources.

The Publish or Perish software can be used to perform further analysis on Google Scholar data and Anne-Wil Harzing’s site has much information on how it can be used.


We have recently blogged about using Incites which is Clarivate Analytics’ citation analysis tool. It can also give you an author overview:

  • Citations
  • Which journals gave you the most citations
  • Areas of work which are most highly cited

Incites uses data from the Web of Science, so a different database with its own set of content. Comparisons suggest citations and coverage are roughly similar / slightly less than Scopus (Scopus is expanding its content – particularly book data – more rapidly).

Altmetrics: do they tell a different story?

The site ImpactStory can be used to set up a quick profile and gather your altmetrics, as well as some citation metrics. This may provide additional information on your scholarly activities – how does this compare with your citation metrics?

If you do explore your personal metrics, please let us know! We have been doing some work with specific departments on how well different sources of metrics represent their outputs and all evidence is useful.







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All you need to know about metrics?

The range of metrics (or indicators) being used to measure research impact is growing and the issues around them are complex. If you are interested in exploring this area there is an excellent resource produced by 3 Irish academic libraries: MyRI Measuring your Research Impact.

The tutorial is particularly recommended: it is very thorough, considers all the pros and cons of the different metrics and has short videos of academics discussing how they are using (or not using) metrics. The MyRI tutorial is also available for re-use and adaptation under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence.

Swansea University has subscriptions to many of the products mentioned (you will need to click onto the “Online” tab to get the link that routes via our login):

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ISBNs – do you need one?


An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, etc.  for ordering, listing, and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the publisher as well as the specific title, edition and format.

There is no legal requirement to have an ISBN. However, it can make your publication more visible because it will be added to a national register and is more likely to be picked up by library catalogues and other listings. It also looks professional. Any book made generally available can have an ISBN whether it is priced or free.


If you are publishing with a commercial publisher they will arrange an ISBN. If you would like a Swansea University ISBN complete the application form on our web pages. The library will cover the cost and register the ISBN for you. Contact ext 4567 if you need any help.

If you are producing a journal or other serial you can obtain an ISSN (international standard serial number) direct from the British Library free of charge.

Publishing material within your department?  Note that the British Library and other copyright libraries have a legal right to receive a copy of everything published in the UK.  A copy should be sent to the British Library within a month of publication and the other libraries will request a copy if they want one. This applies whether you have an ISBN or not.









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Journal Citation Reports



The latest edition of Journal Citation Reports has just been released. JCR ranks journals by the number of citations likely to be received by an article and is often used to help decide which journals to publish in, particularly for STEM subjects.

Journal Citation Reports has been around for 42 years but has recently changed ownership to Clarivate Analytics who have also taken over Web of Science from Thomson Reuters.

You can find JCR by logging in to with your Swansea username and password then clicking Journal Citation Reports in the black bar at the very top of the screen.  The first time you use JCR you will need to register on a campus PC – click register from the Sign in link. The Select categories option will allow you to look at the top journals in your own subject area.

Our brief guide to Journal Citation Reports

Remember that metrics should be used with caution as there are many reasons why journals do not get a high score. Articles on the subject include Why the impact factor of journals should not be used for evaluating research by Per O Seglen in BMJ and The impact factor: a useful indicator of journal quality or fatally flawed? by David B. Elliott in Opthalmic and Physiological Optics.

You can find more information on metrics on our web page. If you would like help please contact

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Open Access at Swansea Uni: some stats

We are just over a year into the REF Open Access policy; our own institutional open access policy (PDF) came out in March 2015. Taking a look at our repository back and front ends, we can see how deposit and full text rates have varied over time. The figures are as accurate as we can manage – unfortunately Cronfa does not yet utilise the IRUS-UK service which would give us a richer set of data. We hope one day we can join.

Items added to our repository (RIS)

Last month showed the highest ever number of records created: 961. This chart shows a month-by-month comparison over the last 3 years:


We can see our repository is quieter in holiday months; it is likely the peaks are due to internal audit exercises where academics are reminded to add their papers.

Items with full text on Cronfa

The chart below shows the steady growth in full text items on Cronfa from 2015 onwards:


At the moment we have about 10.3% of items on Cronfa with full text available – up from 2.2% in March 2015. This figure is particularly low because it includes many older items and significant numbers of books/book chapters/other output types. If we look at journal articles published since 2014, then we have around 36% full text. For the year 2016, full text journal articles reached 49.1% (with some items possibly still under embargo).

It’s encouraging to see the growth in open access content over the last few years. Our repository also feeds into the CORE aggregated search portal and an increasing amount of content is appearing on Google Scholar. The home page of Cronfa shows the most downloaded items and most recent additions.

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June Staff sessions: Open Access and Altmetrics

We have 2 open access sessions running next week on Park Campus:

  • Wednesday 14th June, 1-2pm
  • Friday 16th June, 11-12pm

These will be informal and can cover all aspects of open access and using RIS. Book via Eventbrite and select the session you require.

We also have a session on Altmetrics:

“Altmetrics: who’s talking about your research online? Thursday 15th June, 12-1pm: book here”

Booking is essential! You can also let us know if you’re interested but can’t make those dates/times.

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