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Research publication impact: Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic

A guide to different measures and metrics for assessing research publication impact.

Google Scholar

An alternative and free source of metrics is Google Scholar.

To use the citation analysis option in Google Scholar, you will need the Publish or Perish software, which is available for free download at

Publish or Perish interrogates Google Scholar for raw citation details which are then analysed for the following:

  • Total number of papers and total number of citations
  • Average citations per paper, citations per author, papers per author, and citations per year
  • Hirsch's h-index and related parameters
  • Egghe's g-index
  • The contemporary h-index
  • Three variations of individual h-indices
  • The average annual increase in the individual h-index
  • The age-weighted citation rate
  • An analysis of the number of authors per paper.

More information on Publish or Perish:

Slideshare on Citation Analysis by Anne-Wil Harzing of the University of Melbourne.

Microsoft Academic

The Publish or Perish software can also be used with Microsoft Academic, which is an alternative to Google Scholar. Microsoft Academic can be accessed at

To use Microsoft Academic, you must register an account.