Google Scholar: Setting Up a Citations Profile and Understanding the Impact Factor

Google Scholar allows researchers to easily search scholarly materials across a range of formats, disciplines, and sources.  A search will yield results in articles, theses, books and more from publishers, online repositories, universities, and websites. In addition to being a research tool, another valuable feature of this service is Google Scholar Citations.  This service allows authors to create a free profile to keep track of citation metrics and connect with other researchers.

How can you benefit from a Citations account? Google Scholar will track citations and automatically update profiles as references are located online. Creating a profile and making it public will provide a face to your research and an easy way to maintain an online presence for your scholarly accomplishments.

Setting Up Your Profile

1. Sign in here using an existing Google account or create a new one.

2. Confirm your name and enter your affiliation, email address, and research interests.

Note: You must enter an educational (.edu) email address in order for your profile to be eligible for inclusion in search results.

3. The next page will display articles written by you or by people with similar names to yours. Add articles that belong to you or click “search articles” to search Google Scholar content for your work.

4. You will now be asked if you would like updates applied to your profile automatically or if you would prefer to review them first.

Note: You can always make changes manually regardless of the option you choose here.

5. You will now arrive at your profile. You may make changes to your information and add a photo.

6. Check your university inbox and click the verification link.

7. When you are satisfied with your profile, make it public by selecting “make my profile public” at the top of your profile page.

Understanding the Impact Factor

The impact factor of an academic journal is a measure of the relative importance of that publication in a particular field. This measure is based on the number of citations of articles published in the journal. The impact factor is an important consideration for academics seeking tenure or for new scholars locating the highest impact publications within their field.

Google Scholar allows authors and researchers to easily gauge the influence of recent articles. You can begin by browsing the top publications in a given discipline. You can view the overall top publications written in English across the disciplines here.  Select a journal and click on the “h-index” to see what articles were cited the most and where they were cited. To learn more about impact factor, see this guide. For more on Google Scholar Metrics, visit Google Scholar.