Friday, April 13, 2012

Calculating an Individual Impact Factor Using Scopus

Citation impact factors for journals are widely used to evaluate journal quality, though there is a lot of criticism of the use of this statistic especially to evaluate papers published in those journals. So why not compute an impact factor for an individual researcher rather than for a journal. This is really easy to do using Scopus. Do an "Author Search" and then select "Citation Overview". You will get an output looking like this (minus the green box):

The 2011 five year impact factor is the average citations received in 2011 for papers published by this researcher in the five years 2006-2010. The 2011 citations to articles published in the five year window are highlighted by the green box. There are a total of 47 such citations in this case. And there are 10 articles in the database. So the impact factor is 47/10 = 4.7. The 2010 impact factor was 6.4. Scopus covers more journals in the social sciences than the Web of Science does and so this impact factor is probably not directly comparable to the Journal Citation Report impact factors. In the natural sciences the numbers will be closer.

I think this is definitely worth computing for job or tenure candidates etc. in fields where journal articles dominate. You can't apply it to a new PhD but for those who have done a post-doc etc. or more senior candidates, I can't see why not.

No comments:

Post a Comment