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Impact Metrics : Publication Counts

How are publication counts typically used?

Profile imagePublication counts are commonly used in academia as a basic attempt to quantify an individual researcher's, department's, or institution's productivity.

Publication counts are an author level metric.

How are publication counts calculated?

To calculate publication counts you simply count the number of publications authored by the researcher, department, or institution.

For individual researchers, acquiring publication counts can be facilitated by the creation of an ORCID profile, being a platform where researchers can easily compile research outputs. For more information on ORCID, see the Researcher Profiles guide.

Researchers, departments, and institutions can collaborate with librarians to track down their publications. See the Publication Tracking guide for additional information.

Where can I (an individual researcher) find my publication count?

For individual researchers, you can determine your publication count by conducting searches in relevant databases or by compiling your publications into a researcher profile.

Instructions for conducting searches for individual researchers can be found in the Publication Tracking guide, which specifically includes instructions for finding individual author publications in PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar.

Instructions for creating and maintaining a researcher profile can be found in the Researcher Profiles guide. Instructions for finding your publication count in these researcher profiles are included below.


Finding your publication count in ORCID ORCID logo

  1. Go to ORCID
  2. Using the upper right-hand search bar, search for your name
  3. Click your name from the results list
  4. Your publication count will be next to the "Works" column. Note "Works" may include additional outputs as well as articles

Note that the publication count will be based only on publications that have been added to the ORCID profile.

For tips on modifying and updating your ORCID profile, see the Researcher Profiles Guide.


Finding your publication count in Scopus Scopus logo

  1. Go to Scopus
  2. Click the "Authors" tab above the search bar
  3. Enter your last name into the first search bar, and your first name into the second search bar
  4. Your publication count should display next to your name. You can also see your publication count in your profile. To do this, click your name from the results list
  5. Your publication count will be listed on the left-hand side of the page ("Documents by author")

Note that the publication count will be based only on publications indexed in Scopus.

For tips on modifying and updating your Scopus author profile, see the Researcher Profiles Guide.


Finding your publication count in Web of Science Web of Science logo

  1. Go to Web of Science
  2. Click the "Researchers" tab above the search bar
  3. Enter your last name into the first search bar, and your first name into the second search bar
  4. If your name is unique in Web of Science, you may be taken straight to the author profile. If not, look for your name in the results list, and click your name to go to your author profile
  5. Your publication count will be listed on the right-hand side of the page ("Total Publications")

Note that the publication count will be based only on publications indexed in Web of Science.

For tips on modifying and updating your Web of Science author profile, see the Researcher Profile Guide: Publons/Researcher ID.


Finding your publication count in Google Scholar Google Scholar logo

  1. Go to Google Scholar
  2. Enter your name into the search bar
  3. Click your name from the list of results
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click "Show More"
  5. Keep clicking "Show More" until you no longer have the option
  6. Your publication count will display at the bottom of the page ("Articles x-x")

Note that the publication count will be based only on publications indexed in Google Scholar.

For tips on modifying and updating your Scopus author profile, see the Researcher Profiles Guide.

Where can we (a department or institution) find our publication count?

For departments and institutions, you can determine your publication count by conducting searches in relevant databases.

Instructions for conducting searches for departments or institutions (aka affiliations) can be found in the Publication Tracking guide, which specifically includes instructions for finding publications in PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar.

What are some limitations of publication counts as a metric?

Publication counts have limitations as a metric. A few limitations include:

  • Inconsistent between databases (e.g., you may have a different publication count in Scopus versus PubMed)
  • Do not factor in the quality of the publications
  • Do not factor in the publication type (e.g., original research articles versus commentaries)
  • Do not factor in the impact of the publications
  • Do not take into account publisher prestige (e.g., the article may be published in a predatory journal)
  • Like all impact metrics, vulnerable to gamification (e.g., paper mills)

Where can I learn more?

For a brief overview of publication counts as a metric, see page 8 of:


For a look into how publication counts can be gamified, see:


For additional information on predatory publishers, see: