Scientometric indicators

Scientometric base - this is not something new in the world. Their story begins in the 70s of the XIX century, when the two Science Citation Index - the index of legal documents Shepard's Citations in 1873, and the index of scientific publications on the Index Medicus Medicine in 1879 first appeared.  The last existed until 2004. With the development of the Internet the index is made available online through different platforms, such as the Web of Science, SCOPUS, and other scientometric base.

Scientometric indicators - index of publication activity of authors or organizations, significance of publications depending on the scientific value of journal, etc. Used to assess the status and prospects of the research activities of authors and organizations, their comparison and ranking in various rankings.

To date, there are a large number of international systems of citation (bibliographic databases) such as: Web of Science, Scopus, Web of Knowledge, Astrophysics, PubMed, Mathematics, Chemical Abstracts, Springer, Agris, GeoRef. The most authoritative and worldwide recognized ones of the existing international systems of citing are: «Web of Science» and «Scopus». Journals contained in these systems are officially recognized by the Higher Attestation Commission (HAC).

Web of Science (previously known as (ISIWeb of Knowledge) is an online subscription-based scientific citation indexing service maintained by Thomson Reuters that provides a comprehensive citation search. It gives access to multiple databases that reference cross-disciplinary research, which allows for in-depth exploration of specialized sub-fields within an academic or scientific discipline.

Web of Science is placed on the search platform Web of Knowledge.

The platform is described as a unifying research tool which enables the user to acquire, analyze, and disseminate database information in a timely manner:

Web of Science consist of three main online databases:

  • Science Citation Index Expanded – a citation index of natural and exact sciences that includes scientific, technical and medical journals;
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) – an interdisciplinary citation index that includes journals of economy and social sciences;
  • Arts&Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) – citation index with coverage of disciplines that includes social and natural science journals such as Arts, Humanities, Language (including Linguistics), Poetry, Music, Classical works, History, Oriental Studies, Philosophy, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Religion, Television, Theater, and Radio.

The link of the source:

Information portal in Russian:

The multidisciplinary coverage of the Web of Science encompasses over 12000 journals, 148,000 conference proceedings. The coverage includes: the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, and goes across disciplines.

Key features

Thanks to Web of Science it is possible to:

  • find articles and conference proceedings with high citation;
  • get updated with important and actual results in related fields;
  • identify emerging trends that will help to achieve good results in the study and in obtaining grants;
  • identify qualified collaborators with high citation;
  • integrate search, writing articles, and creating bibliographies in a single united process.

Warning: the database does not contain the full texts of articles, however, includes lists of all the bibliographic references found in each publication, which allows getting the most comprehensive bibliography on the topic of interest in a short time.


Scopus (SciVerse Scopus) ( – the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. It is owned by Elsevier and is available online by subscription. It covers nearly 18,000 journals from over 5,000 publishers, including 200 russian journals, 13 mln patents from USA, Europe and Japan, and conference proceedings in the scientific, technical, medical, and social sciences (including arts and humanities). It contains a small proportion of journals in social sciences - not more than 17%, and the natural sciences and technology - 83%.

Advantages over other databases:

  • exceeds the completeness and retrospective depth of most of the existing databases in the world;
  • full information on Russian organizations, Russian magazines and Russian authors, mostly indexes of their citation;
  • tool of effectiveness control of studies that helps to evaluate authors, organizations, research trends and journals;
  • absence of embargo, indexing, and the emergence of many essays before the printed version;
  • convenient and easy to use interface;
  • the opportunity to see the results of all possible sources of search (number of scientific journals, patents, scientific sites on the Internet), and detailed picture of magazine titles, authors and co-authors, organizations, age, type of publications, etc.
  • links to both citing and cited documents, allowing the user to go both forwards and backwards in time.



citation index is a kind of bibliographic database, an index of citations between publications, allowing the user to easily establish which later documents cite which earlier documents.

The author cannot have the citation index, but can have an indicator of citation.

Calculation of the citations in each resource is performed based on the information source (s) contained in the presented resource, thus the citation indicators of the same author in the different resources may differ.

What is the impact factor?

There are two ways to assess the level of scientists. First - citation index, and the second - the impact factor.

The impact factor (IF) of an academic journal is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. The impact factor was devised by Eugene Garfield in the 1960s, the founder of the Institute for Scientific Information. The impact factor is used to compare different journals within a certain field. In any given year, the impact factor of a journal is the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal during the two preceding years, divided by the total number of articles.

Impact Factor provides quantitative tools for evaluating journals, which is an annual product of Thomson ISI (Institute for Scientific Information). It is a measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a given period of time. The impact factor for a journal is calculated based on a three-year period, and involves dividing the number of times articles were cited by the number of articles that are citable.

The impact factor (IF) is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is used to measure the importance or rank of a journal by calculating the times it's articles are cited.

Impact factor contains quoted materials:

  • articles;
  • reviews;
  • conference proceedings;
  • technical notes;
  • additions.

While measuring the impact factor it is not considered:

  • notes of publisher;
  • discussions;
  • comments;
  • workshops;
  • book reviews;
  • news;
  • letters (except for letter-articles).

Citation Index allows a researcher to identify which later articles have cited any particular earlier article, or have cited the articles of any particular author, or have been cited most frequently. Usually, a scientist has a large number of citation index, when their works were published in journals with high impact factor.

In 1960, Eugene Garfield's Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) introduced the first citation index for papers published in academic journals, first the Science Citation Index (SCI), and later the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI). Now the index is fully represented in the database Web of Science, and is one of the many resources of the platform Web of Knowledge, supported by Thomson Reuters.

Hirsch Index was not invented by specialists in scientometrics and bibliometrics, it was invented by physicist Jorge Hirsch. The definition of the index is that a scholar with an index of h has published h papers each of which has been cited in other papers at least h times.[4] Thus, the h-index reflects both the number of publications and the number of citations per publication. The index is designed to improve upon simpler measures such as the total number of citations or publications. The index works properly only for comparing scientists working in the same field; citation conventions differ widely among different fields.The h-index is a measurement that aims to describe the scientific productivity and impact of a researcher.  Hirsch intended the h-index to address the main disadvantages of other bibliometric indicators, such as total number of papers or total number of citations. Total number of papers does not account for the quality of scientific publications, while total number of citations can be disproportionately affected by participation in a single publication of major influence (for instance, methodological papers proposing successful new techniques, methods or approximations, which can generate a large number of citations), or having many publications with few citations each. The h-index is intended to measure simultaneously the quality and quantity of scientific output.

How to determine the Impact Factor Journal of Web of Science?

If the organization has signed on Web of Science, you will be able to easily search for the log and measure its impact factor. If the organization does not have subscription of the scientometric IT-platform, it is enough to go to and start searching.