Skip to Main Content

Tracking Scholarship in the Arts & Humanities

Explore ways to show the impact of scholarly and creative works in the humanities and arts. Read more about qualitative and quantitative measures of scholarly impact.

Citations and Metrics for the Arts and Humanities

Using Citations & Metrics in the Arts & Humanities

Most metrics used to analyze the impact of journal article publications are geared towards STEM fields. Therefore, while still a measure that can be used to track the impact of publications in the areas of arts and humanities, coverage is nowhere as extensive. Generally, citations for publications in this area also tend to be less and take longer to appear, than publications in the sciences and medicine in particular. 

This page has some useful resources for locating and using citations and metrics to track, measure, and demonstrate the impact of your scholarly and creative works.

How do I use metrics to demonstrate the impact of my scholarship?

Depending on the type of scholarship or creative work you have produced and depending on your research field, there are several options available for you. Any metric should be used with the understanding that it may not create an entirely accurate picture of the impact of your scholarship. Many metrics, for example, don't differentiate between positive and negative attention. Below are some suggestions for how you can use metrics to demonstrate the reach of your work.

  • Use a mixture of qualitative and quantitative evidence to support your claims of influence, engagement, use, and impact.
  • Present any quantitative data (i.e., metrics) in context and use appropriately normalized scores when possible (metrics from a reputable source).
  • When comparing or benchmarking quantitative evidence, be sure you are comparing like to like. For example, article metrics may need to be compared to articles from the same discipline and publication year. Similarly, if you compare yourself to other faculty, consider choosing those in the same career stage and those employed at peer institutions.
  • Choose metrics that align with the institution's values, funding agency, or other organization you apply to.

Text from this section is used under CCBY4.0 from The Metrics Toolkit.

Measuring Book Impact

The impact of books can be measured in a few different ways. Below are some resources and tools for you to use. If you think there is a resource missing from this list, please contact Christina Miskey, Research Impact Librarian (

Citations of Books and Book Chapters

Citation Databases

  • Google Scholar. Coverage in this database is extensive and covers a wide range of disciplines, but is not comprehensive. To consistently track citations of your books and book chapters, create a Google Scholar Profile. Otherwise, you can search for a specific published work or by your name to view citations.
  • Scopus. This citation database has limited coverage of book series, reference works, and graduate-level textbooks.

Full-text Citation Search

  • Hathi Trust. Search the full text of digitized books using this free database. You may not be able to view the full text of a book in this database.
  • EBSCOhost and EBSCO eBook Collection. Use the cited reference search and keyword searches to search through more than 30 databases and 3,000 digital copies of books. The best coverage is in business, education, film, health, psychology, sociology, and sports.
  • eBook Central. A database with over 30,000 digital books that uses full text searches, and covers a wide variety of subject areas.

Other Measurements of Book Impact

  • Publisher Quality. Publishing a book (or book chapter) with a quality publisher can positively impact and reflect the importance of your work. Lists of quality publishers are often created by funding bodies and professional associations. Some examples include: Moderna BioTech (science), Association of University Presses, Eastern Michigan University, and American Philosophical Association
  • Library Holdings. Use the WorldCat database to search for academic, public, and special libraries that have purchased your book worldwide. Requires ACE account login.
  • Educational Impact. Use the Open Syllabus Explorer to search for textbooks and other publications to locate course syllabi listing your work. You could also use prizes, awards, and invitations to speak or read portions of your work to audiences to show your research is in demand.
  • Sales and Usage Statistics/Downloads. Generally obtained from the publisher, sales, inclusion on bestseller lists, and usage statistics such as downloads of an ebook or library loans can showcase the impact and reach of your work. An example includes SpringerLink eBook Metrics, which are available to authors and accessible via the book's ISBN.
  • Book reviews. Positive reviews of your publication can also be an excellent indicator of reach, impact, and influence in a field. The UNLV Libraries has a number of databases that have searchable book reviews. Some examples include Magill's Literary Annual (literature), Building Green (architecture and engineering), Book Review Digest Plus, ARD: The Anthropology Review Database, Design and Applied Arts Index, and NoveList Plus (children's and young adult books).

Bibliometrics and Citations

Metrics, also known as research metrics or bibliometrics, is a measurement of scholarly research using quantitative methods such as citation counts, downloads, mentions, and more. Metrics are also used to demonstrate the impact of research publications at the journal, article, and author levels, which help faculty and researchers show the reach of their scholarship for tenure and promotion, job opportunities, and grant funding, among other things.

Bibliometric Tools and Resources

  • SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR). A free source that includes the journal and country scientific indicators developed from Elsevier's Scopus database. It ranks journals and compares journal citations among countries. Because it pulls data from the Scopus database, there is multidisciplinary coverage, including in the social sciences and humanities.
  • CiteScore. Calculated on an annual basis, showing the average citations for a given calendar year over a four-year period. Coverage is based on the Scopus database and is, therefore, multidisciplinary. The Source Normalized Impact per Publication (SNIP) score is also part of this database and is a score that uses 'normalization' to more easily allow for direct comparison between separate disciplines.
  • Dimensions. A database that tracks research grants, publications, clinical trials, policy documents, and patents to help researchers explore the connections between various research outputs. While primarily geared towards the science and medical fields, it is being expanded to include more disciplines.
  • Metrics Toolkit. Helps you Navigate the Research Metrics Landscape. It is a web resource for researchers and evaluators by providing guidance for demonstrating and evaluating research impact. 

Citation Tracking

  • Web of Science. First, perform an Author search in Web of Science. You will generate a list of titles published by the author. Go to the upper right-hand corner of records retrieved. Find the Create Citation Report and click on it. This will take you to the Citation Report. 
  • Scopus. Author search is generally the best method to pull up citations. Search by Last Name, First Initial, and institution. Choose the appropriate author listed then click on Citation Overview.
  • Google Scholar. Free to use and multidisciplinary, Google Scholar tracks citations from a wide variety of sources. Search using author name, keywords, and titles as needed.
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Provides access to citations for nearly 1,110 of the world's leading arts & humanities journals.
  • Sotheby's Institute of Art. Provides tips and links to search repositories for Theses and Dissertation and repository citations. Only full-text searching is available. 


Altmetrics is used to refer to "alternative metrics" and are generally article-level metrics. Altmetrics attempts to fill a gap in more traditional metrics by using a more comprehensive range of sources, such as social media, news outlets, blog posts, and citation managers, in addition to citation and download counts to determine the impact (or "attention") of scholarship.

Article Level Metrics Tools

Altmetric Resources 

Altmetric Explorer Pilot

Altmetric Explorer logo

UNLV University Libraries is sponsoring a pilot of the Altmetric Explorer database. For more information on the pilot, and to offer feedback on the database, please go to the link below.

© University of Nevada Las Vegas