Tracking Impact

The Cited Reference Search in the database Web of Science allows users to track how many times a published work was referenced in the academic literature. It indexes journals from the humanities to the sciences and includes conference proceedings.

As complete as that sounds, does it really capture how scholars use academic literature? With so much content migrating online, we can now track other measures of impact like number of times an article was downloaded, blogged about, or linked to on a website.

InsideHigherEd.com describes new methods for assessing scholarly impact. One ranking uses a Google-like algorithm to weigh citations from prestigious journals most heavily. By that system, the New England Journal of Medicine comes out tops for medical journals in 2008.

CoolCite.com harnesses social networking by allowing researchers to upload their CVs and share content with other scholars. The site takes a holistic approach to evaluating merit by looking at the teaching and service part of an academic’s record.

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