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Article metrics

Article metrics attempt to measure the research impact of articles (and their authors).

  • Article citation counts

    These databases provide a count of how many times a given article has been cited, typically by journals tracked by that database (which is not the same as all citations to an article). This is closely related to cited reference searching.

  • Article reviews

    Reviews of articles can be a valuable tool to researchers. Some journals publish reviews of articles in a field. Some publisher sites allow readers to review and discuss articles. New academic social networking tools are allowing readers to comment and rank articles.

  • Other article metrics

    The best known article level metric is the number of times an article has been cited. Other article metrics include counting:

    • page views
    • downloads
    • mentions in blogs
    • inclusions in social bookmarking tools

Find articles

  • Complete article citation

    Use the Citation Linker when you have a complete citation, including the journal title or ISSN, the volume/issue/number, page numbers and publication date. Enter all of your citation information in the Citation Linker form (the numerical parts of your citation, including the date, are most important). You will see a link to the article online, a link to the print journal record, or a link to request the article through interlibrary loan.

  • Incomplete article citation

    When you have an incomplete citation, such as just an article title, and therefore do not have sufficient information to find the full text, here are some strategies to use to find a more complete citation.

  • Article indexes in print

    Print indexes cover older material or material not indexed in electronic databases. They are essential if you are doing comprehensive research on a topic. Print indexes may be located using Addison, the library catalog.

  • Abbreviated journal title

    Many resources will not allow searching by abbreviated journal title. Common abbreviated titles, such as JAMA for the Journal of the American Medical Association, have been added to Addison and Summon; most abbreviated titles required by citation style guides, such as J. Amer. Chem. Soc., are not searchable in Addison or databases. You will need to find the full title to look up these citations.

  • Searching for articles on a topic

    Millions of articles are published in newspapers, magazines, and journals every year. The Virginia Tech Libraries purchase access to databases to help find articles on your research topics. Some articles will be available online, while others only available in print. You may need to use Interlibrary Loan to obtain some articles.

    You will need to choose from among over 700 databases the Virginia Tech Libraries provides, including the new Summon database, to search for articles on your research topic. Here are a few strategies for choosing a database.

  • Searching for articles within a specific journal

    Sometimes you want to search for an article within a particular journal, magazine or newspaper; perhaps because your instructor requires you use that journal or you remember seeing the article earlier and now want to find that full text. (Note that if these example are not the case, you should not limit yourself to a single journal; use databases to find articles on a topic from among many journals.)