Day 20: Discover when your work is discussed and shared online

You’re engaging other scholars online; they’re discussing your open access work with you and other researchers; and before Easter break you minted identifiers that’ll let you track your work’s reach on the web. Now comes the fun part: measuring your research’s many impacts.

In today’s challenge, we’ll explore how the services you’ve signed up for–, Google Scholar, Figshare, and so on – and others can be used to track the impacts of all of your research outputs.

Let’s dig in!


Citations are the “coin of the realm” to track scholarly impact, not only for your articles but also your research data, too. You can get citation alerts in three main ways: from Google Scholar, from traditional citation indices, and from newer databases like the Data Citation Index.

Google Scholar Citations alerts

Your Google Scholar profile can be used to alert you whenever your articles receive new citations online. It tracks any citations to your publications that occur on the scholarly web.

If you haven’t already signed up for citation alerts, visit your profile page and click the blue “Follow” button at the top of your profile. Select “Follow new citations” link and enter your preferred email address, then click “Create alert.” Notifications will arrive in your inbox when you receive new citations.

If you want to explore who has already cited you, visit your profile page, and click on the number of citations to the right of the article you want to track citations for:


On the next page, you’ll see a list of all the papers that have cited you, some of which you’ll be able to click-through and read. To increase your full-text access to resources listed by Google Scholar click the Settings icon and use Library Links to see links to some of the University of Newcastle’s subscriptions. Be sure to enter the University’s name correctly though (not as Newcastle University.) And remember, not all academic databases have negotiated to link through Google Scholar in this manner, but taking advantage of this function will certainly increase what you have full access to.


Remember: Google Scholar indexes citations it finds in a wide range of scholarly documents (white papers, slide decks, and of course journal articles are all fair game) and in documents of any language. The data pool is also mixed with respect to peer-review status; some of these citations will be in the peer-reviewed literature, some will not. This means that your citation count on Google Scholar may be larger than on other citation services.

Web of Science

Traditional citation indices like Scopus and Web of Science are another good way to get citation alerts delivered to your inbox. These services are more selective in scope, so you’ll be notified only when your work is cited by vetted, peer-reviewed publications.

Web of Science Indexes high impact journals. They undertake a Cited Reference Search to find citations for books, chapters, and non-Web of Science indexed journals.

However, they only track citations for select journal articles and book chapters – a far cry from the diverse range of citations that are available from Google Scholar.

Web of Science offers article-level citation alerts. To create an alert, you first have to register with Web of Knowledge and create a ResearcherID.

Create your ResearcherID if you don’t already have one.

Next, make sure your preferred database is set to the Web of Science Core Collection (alerts cannot be set up across all databases at once). To do this, click the orange arrow next to “All Databases” to the right of “Search” in the top-left corner. You’ll get a drop-down list of databases, from which you should select “Web of Science Core Collection.” Note: If you access WOS from any of the above UON links this will be the default view, so you won’t need to worry about it.

Now you’re ready to create an alert. On the Basic Search screen, search for your article by its title. Click on the appropriate title to get to the article page. In the upper right hand corner of the record, you’ll find the Citation Network box. Click “Create citation alert.” Let Web of Knowledge know your preferred email address, then save your alert.


In , a citations database you can set up alerts for both articles and authors. To create an alert for an article, search for it and then and click on the title in your search results. Once you’re on the Article Abstract screen, you will see a list of papers that cite your article on the right-hand side. To set your alert, click “Set alert” under “Inform me when this document is cited in Scopus.”

To set an author-level alert, click the Author Search tab on the Scopus homepage and run a search for your name. If multiple results are returned, check the author affiliation and subjects listed to find your correct author profile. Next, click on your author profile link. On your author details page, follow the “Get citation alerts” link, and list your saved alert, set an email address, and select your preferred frequency of alerts. Once you’re finished, save your alert.

With alerts set for all three of these services, you’ll now be notified when your work is cited in virtually any publication in the world! But citations only capture a very specific form of scholarly impact. How do we learn about other uses of your articles?

Page views & downloads

How many people are reading your work? While you can’t be certain that article page views and full-text downloads mean people are reading your articles, many researchers still find these measures to be a good proxy.

Repositories like NOVA provide this information, too, so you can also track the interest in your publications. How many page hits? How many unique viewers? How many times has the journal article made open access been downloaded?


Publisher websites and notifications

Publishers like PLOS display page view and download information for individual articles on their website, alongside other data like citations and Altmetrics.

For PLOS and many other publishers, these metrics are only available on their websites. Some pioneering publishers go one step further, sending you an email when you’ve got new page views and downloads on their site.

Contact your publisher to find out if they offer metrics related to articles you’ve published.

 ResearchGate &

Both ResearchGate and will report how many people have viewed and downloaded your paper on their site.

You can turn on email notifications for page views and downloads by visiting “Settings” (on both sites, click the triangle in the upper right-hand corner of your screen). Then, click on the “Notifications” tab in the sidebar menu, and check off the types of emails you want to receive.

On, the option to receive page view & download notifications are described as “There’s new activity in my analytics (includes “Analytics Snapshot”)”; on ResearchGate, it’s under Scheduled Emails > “Weekly update about my personal stats and RG Score.”


Figshare displays page view and download information on their website, but they don’t send notification emails when new downloads happen.

Social media metrics via

What are other researchers saying about your articles around the water cooler? It used to be that we couldn’t track these informal conversations, but now we’re able to listen in using social media sites like Twitter and on blogs. Here’s how. allows you to track mentions of your work across a range of non-traditional sources. need three things to track the online attention of your scholarly output, as displayed below:


Identifiers they track include: DOI or (which is the persistent identifier given to a record in the UON repository NOVA), or PubMed ID, arXiv ID, ADS ID, SSRN ID, RePEC ID, or URN.

You can see a range of the sources track displayed as colours below:


And an example of how these colours are displayed to represent the amount of engagement with your research output from each source:


Because UON has an account with, you can see altmetrics data displayed as the colourful donut on your UON researcher profile publication page.

Remember: your article needs to be in NURO to show on your web profile.


If you click on the donut, you will see a range of information about where the article was shared and read, including the demographics of the people sharing.


Once you are on this breakdown page, you can also sign up to receive notifications whenever someone mentions your article online by clicking the “Alert me about new mentions” button on the right.

You can also easily install a handy bookmarklet on your browser bookmark bar, which will show you altmetrics information when you are looking at an article on a publisher website.

To install, visit the Altmetrics bookmarklet page and drag the “Altmetric It!” button into your browser menu bar. Then, find your article on the publisher’s website and click your “Altmetric it!” button. The altmetrics for your article will appear in the upper right-hand side of your browser window, in a pop-up box.

If you click on the pop-up box it will take you to a similar breakdown of the altmetrics data as shown above.

The only drawback of’s notification emails is that you have to sign up for a new notification for each article. This can cause inbox mayhem if you are tracking many publications.


There are so many ways to collect metrics for your work; it’s hard to keep up. And even aggregators that attempt to collect these metrics for you into a single place – like – don’t collect everything.

We recommend taking a hybrid approach to staying on top of your impacts: use an aggregator that can collect Twitter, blog, Slideshare, Figshare, etc. metrics into one place for you, like, then supplement any metrics they can’t track with email notifications from specific services (for example, Web of Science or Scopus).


Do some serious thinking about what metrics mean the most to you. And with those metrics in mind, sign up for the appropriate notification emails that’ll keep you up-to-date on your impacts.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully made it through all 20 days of our Research Impact Challenge.

You’re now a web-savvy researcher who’s made valuable connections online. You’re sharing more of your work than you were before, and have found many new ways to get your work to those who are interested. And you’re able to track the success of your efforts, and the real-time impact of your scholarship.

We have really enjoyed editing together and writing these challenges for researchers in the Faculty of Education and Arts at UON, and we have also learned so much. Thanks for joining in!

The 20 Day Challenge will continue to exist on The FEDUA Research Impact Blog as a resource for you to come back to whenever you need.

We will also continue to post about once every two weeks to this blog to give you information, updates, and tips on increasing the communication and impact of your work . However, after a quick wrap-up post tomorrow, you won’t receive further emails from us to update you of new posts unless you “Follow” the FEDUA Research Impact Blog.

You can follow future posts by going to the top of this page and in the right-hand column entering your email in the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” box.

Also, please reach out if you have ideas for future topics you would like more information on in regards to research communication and impact.

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