Frequently Asked Questions

Scholarometer does not seem to know that I exist. How do I add myself?
Some citation/papers are missing
Why the name change?
Can I embed the results of my citation analysis on my homepage?
Why can't I search/query from the Scholarometer site?
Why doesn't Google Scholar block access to Scholarometer?
Can I export individual or bulk bibliographic record into my favorite reference manager?
Why do I get an error when I click Export on an article?
What are the impact metrics computed by Scholarometer?
What are the percentiles?
What is the Scholarometer %ile?
Why are some of the disciplines grey?
How are the Scholarometer network visualizations different from those offered by other tools?
What's wrong with the statistics? Where is my name?
How is a discipline chosen in statistics about top authors?
Will you please implement impact measure x?
Why do I have to enter tags to submit a query?
What tags can I use?
How do I disambiguate a common author name?
Why do I get junk in the results?
Why do I get a Download Error -228 when I try to update Scholarometer?
What is the h-index necessary for tenure?
But isn't the h-index flawed?
What is the privacy policy of Scholarometer?
What technology has been used to develop Scholarometer?
Can you help me use Scholarometer?
What is the group search interface and how do I use it?
Do you plan to expand Scholarometer to other Internet browsers?
Is the source code available?
Is the data available?
How can I help?
How do I contact you?
How did the Scholarometer project begin?
Who has contributed to Scholarometer?


Scholarometer does not seem to know that I exist. How do I add myself?

Scholarometer is a browser extension designed for crowdsourcing scholarly data. You have to install the extension in your browser (Chrome or Firefox) and then submit a query about an author through the extension, in order for Scholarometer to learn about that author.
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Some citation/papers are missing

Scholarometer relies on metadata from Google Scholar, that users share when querying authors through the Scholarometer browser extension. If Google Scholar is missing some papers or citations, that is outside of Scholarometer's control. Read the Google Scholar documentation on citations and inclusion.
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Why the name change?

Scholarometer was formerly named Tenurometer. The original name was catchy and tongue-in-cheek. (No, we do not believe that tenure decisions should be based entirely on citation-based impact measures! See our caveat discussions here, here, and here.) However, some users interpreted the name literally and found it objectionable, so it was distracting from the tool's functionality and goals. We do hope that since citation analysis is increasingly used, among other factors, in evaluation of research impact --- whether one likes it or not --- the Scholarometer will make citation analysis more fair and its use more transparent compared to other existing tools. If nothing else, we hope it will stimulate a constructive debate on evaluation of research impact in academia, while generating public data to inform such a debate.
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Can I embed the results of my citation analysis on my homepage?

Yes! The Scholarometer Widget provides an easy and customizable way to embed a dynamically updated citation analysis report into your Web site. After you submit a query via the Scholarometer extension, you can click on the WIDGET button underneath the top right navigation of the result page. Simply follow the instructions and paste the code into your homepage.
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Why can't I search/query from the Scholarometer site?
Why doesn't Google Scholar block access to Scholarometer?

These two questions have the same answer. Scholarometer is a browser extension, therefore it is your browser and not our server that queries Google Scholar. This is why Scholarometer does not have the limitations of server based citation analysis tools that sit between the user and Google Scholar. We (and many others) asked Google to provide an API to access Google Scholar data. Until such an API becomes available, Scholarometer works by parsing the results obtained from Google Scholar the way any browser would.
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Can I export individual or bulk bibliographic record into my favorite reference manager?
Why do I get an error when I click Export on an article?

Yes, you can. Scholarometer offers two export features. To get individual article record, you can move the mouse over the title and click Export. However, for this feature to work, you must first set a preference in Google Scholar to enable importing citations into your bibliographic manager, and to select a format. To do this, go to the Google Scholar Preferences page, and under Bibliography Manager (toward the end), check Show links to import citations into... and select your preferred reference format. At this time three formats are supported: BibTex (BIB), RefMan (RIS), and EndNote (ENW). Then click the Save Preferences button. Once this preference is set, clicking Export for an article from the Scholarometer results page will bring you to a page or download with the citation record in your selected format (BIB/RIS/ENW), which you can copy and paste or import into your reference manager. If you have not selected the Bibliography Manager preference in Google Scholar, or you have selected an unsupported format, you will get an error when you click an Export link.

The other way allows you to export bibliographic record in bulk. You do this via the EXPORT button underneath the top right navigation of the result page. If you are interested in a few items instead of all being displayed, check those items before clicking the button. Currently, this export feature supports the following formats: BibTex (BIB), RefMan (RIS), EndNote (ENW), comma-separated values (CSV), tab-separated values (XLS), and BibJSON. After selecting your preferred format and possibly narrowing down the export set to checked items, you can either preview the bibliographic record in a new window (by clicking PREVIEW button) or save the bibliographic record to your local machine (by clicking SAVE AS button). Unfortunately, since the bulk export function is based on data that the browser obtains from Google Scholar, some fields of the bibliographic records may need manual editing; for instance the author names may be truncated with ellipsis.
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What are the impact metrics computed by Scholarometer?

Scholarometer computes Hirsch's original h-index (doi:10.1073/pnas.0507655102) and the new hs proposed by Kaur, Radicchi and Menczer (doi:10.1016/j.joi.2013.09.002 or arxiv:1305.6339). The h-index is defined as the maximum number of articles h such that each has received at least h citations. The hs metric normalizes h by the discipline average. The average h of each discipline is available under Explore -> Discipline Stats. The hs index allows to quantitatively compare the impact of authors in different disciplines, with different citation patterns. Authors with above-average impact have hs > 1, authors with below-average impact have hs < 1.
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What are the percentiles?

In the impact analysis panel of the results and in the statistics pages on the Web site we show percentiles (%ile) for various impact measures. The percentile is the number of authors who have a lower value of a measure. For example, an author in the 90%ile for h has a higher h than 90% of the authors, and a lower h than 10% of the authors. Another way to say this is that the author is in the top 10%. Since the hs is computed for each discipline tag, an author will have a different percentile for each tag, which is based on the set of authors who have been tagged with the same discipline.
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What is the Scholarometer %ile?

In the Scholarometer system, scholars can be tagged with multiple disciplines. Each of these annotations is like a vote. We use the number of votes to estimate which discipline tags are reliable. The Scholarometer percentile (%ile) is a global percentile computed based on a weighted average of hs values for all the reliable disciplines with which an author is tagged.
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Why are some of the disciplines grey?

In the Scholarometer system, scholars can be tagged with multiple disciplines. Each of these annotations is like a vote. We use the number of votes to estimate which discipline tags are reliable. If a discipline is marked as unreliable based on this estimation, it is displayed with grey color.
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How are the Scholarometer network visualizations different from those offered by other tools?

There are many other tools that visualize author or discipline networks. For instance, Eigenfactor.org displays connections between disciplines based on Thomson JCR subject categories. Arnetminer provides visualizations of connections among computer science authors based on coauthorship and advising relationships. Microsoft Academic Search Beta displays coauthorship and citation networks. The networks visualized by Scholarometer are different from these other tools in that they are based on crowdsourced discipline annotations of the queried authors.
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What's wrong with the statistics? Where is my name?

Scholarometer is still in beta! We are continuously improving our query interface and our algorithms to estimate discipline statistics and compute impact measures. As a result of various sources of noise, such as ambiguous author names and inaccurate discipline tags, our statistics may still be unreliable and some impact measures may still be inaccurate (see previous question). We are working to address these issues and appreciate your patience and understanding. Feel free to contact us if you notice glaring problems.
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How is a discipline chosen in statistics about top authors?

In Scholarometer, an author can be tagged with multiple disciplines. To obtain a list of top authors for an impact metric, we choose the best reliable discipline for each author based on the number of times the author is tagged with it. The discipline must have a minimum number of scholars. In case of ties, the discpline with the highest value of the impact metric is selected.
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Will you please implement impact measure x?

You can ask but we cannot promise.
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Why do I have to enter tags to submit a query?

One of the services provided by Scholarometer, the hs index, as well as the disciplinary statistics on the Web site, are based on annotations by users. When you enter a query, you must apply one or more disciplinary tags to annotate the author and his/her papers. Scholarometer leverages the wisdom of the crowds to collect data about the various disciplines. The data will be made publicly available.
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What tags can I use?

You may choose from a number of predefined subject categories (marked with an icon), tags entered by other users, or enter your own tags. To aid our collection statistics, at least one predefined discipline is required. The predefined categories are derived from the ISI Science Citation Index Expanded®, Social Science Citation Index®, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index®, available via Thomson Reuters' Web of Science®.
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How do I disambiguate a common author name?

When you search for an author with a common name, take the same steps you would in Google Scholar to focus on the author you are thinking of. First, experiment with different combinations of first and middle names/initials. Often the best results are obtained using first and middle initial (e.g., "cl giles") when possible. Second, use the Advanced search form in the Scholarometer add-on. You can use combinations of additional keywords, phrases, and subject areas among other options. For example, if you are looking for the "Sun Kim" affiliated with the University of Iowa and Indiana University, you can enter "iowa indiana" in the "any of the words" field. Finally, once you get results from Scholarometer, you can exclude articles by selecting them and clicking the Remove button. You can also check a set of articles (to view or remove in bulk) by selecting name variations, filtering on years, or using the live search box.
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Why do I get junk in the results?

Scholarometer gets raw data from Google Scholar, which is based on automatic crawling, parsing, and indexing algorithms, and therefore the data is subject to noise, errors, and incomplete or outdated citation information. Through the Scholarometer interface you can remove noisy results.
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Why do I get a Download Error -228 when I try to update Scholarometer?

If you update the Scholarometer add-on for Firefox from versions below 1.1.3 to the latest version, you may get a Download Error -228 (see screenshot). This is due to the fact that older versions were stored on our server, while newer versions are stored on the Mozilla Add-ons site. To update from an older version, please go to the download page and follow the instructions as if you were installing the add-on for the first time.
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What is the h-index necessary for tenure?

Hirsch's original paper on the h-index (doi:10.1073/pnas.0507655102) suggested that in Physics, h=12 should be sufficient to award tenure at most institutions. However, citation-based impact measures must be carefully interpreted in the context of an author's discipline. Weak impact measures may be explained by factors such as linguistic, geographic, cultural, and disciplinary traditions. We do not advise using citation analysis for important decisions, such as academic tenure, without careful consideration of expert opinions in an author's discipline. Citation-based impact analysis is supposed to be just one of a number of tools in the academic administrator's toolbox.
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But isn't the h-index flawed?

All impact measures have limitations, and new ones are being introduced all the time. There is a growing literature on citation analysis, bibliometrics, and scientometrics. If you are going to base important decisions (such as academic tenure & promotion) on impact measures such as those computed by Scholarometer, we recommend that you consult reputable studies on the effectiveness and limitations of such measures. The ISSI links to relevant journals are good starting points.
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What is the privacy policy of Scholarometer?

When you use the Scholarometer extension or visit the Scholarometer Web site, certain information is collected on our Web server, and some information is shared with other sites and services, as described in detail below. Scholarometer does not require registration of user accounts, and does not use cookies. We rely on Google Groups for communication between users and developers, and the use of the Scholarometer Google Group is subject to the terms of use and privacy policy of Google Groups. When you download or update the Scholarometer add-on from the Mozilla Firefox Add-ons site or the Scholarometer extension from the Google Chrome Extensions site, you are subject to the terms of use and privacy policies of the host repositories. We rely on Google Analytics to keep statistics about visitors to the Scholarometer Web site, including use of the server-side scripts that compute impact factors and present results to the users. For debugging purposes, our Web server also logs access information (including client IP addresses) for up to nine weeks. No such personal information will be disclosed to any third parties except if reasonably necessary to satisfy any applicable law and regulation, or to detect and prevent abuse such as spam and vandalism. We automatically post digest information sampled from the latest queries on Twitter, and make such posts available on the Scholarometer Web site via a Twitter widget. The information posted is subject to the terms of use and privacy policy of Twitter. We rely on the AddThis.com service to allow users to share information about the Scholarometer Web site, and about citation analysis results, with third-party services such as social sites, and via email. Usage of this service is subject to the terms of use and privacy policy of AddThis.com. We collect query information such as author name(s), keywords, search criteria, and discipline tag annotations. None of the information collected is connected to personal identifying information about the user submitting the query, such as the IP address. The extension passes this bibliographic metadata (tag annotations, query information, and other statistics) to our server. We store this information in the Scholarometer database for the purpose of computing citation based impact measures. If you do not agree with the privacy policy as detailed above, you should not use the Scholarometer service. This privacy policy was updated on Feb 22, 2010. Any future changes will be posted here. You may contact us with any questions about this privacy policy via the feedback page.
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What technology has been used to develop Scholarometer?

The web service has been developed with a great use of Beautiful Soup, jQuery, and the jQuery UI, DataTables, and Flot, cluetip plug-ins. Annotations and other statistics are stored on a MySQL database and visualized using the Google Visualization API.
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Can you help me use Scholarometer?

Unfortunately we do not have time to help individual users. We hope the help page and this FAQ will provide sufficient support. Contact us if something is not clear.
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What is the group search interface and how do I use it?

The group search interface makes it easy to retrieve bibliographic data for the publications of a group of authors, for example the members of an academic department or research center. Queries in the Scholarometer group interface must comply with a particular CSV format (example ), as explained in the help page . The group interface performs three steps: searching for each author, filtering out junk articles, and finally merging duplicate records. The records include numbers of citations and discipline tags. They are presented in BibTeX format, ready for export to a bibliographic management system such as Mendeley or BibDesk on the desktop, or BibSonomy or Connotea on the Web.
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Do you plan to expand Scholarometer to other Internet browsers?

Currently we have versions of the extension for Firefox and Google Chrome. At this time we do not expect to develop versions for other browsers.
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Is the source code available?

The extension/add-on code is available in the Mozilla Firefox Add-ons and Google Chrome Extensions repositories. Additional server-side code is not available at this time.
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Is the data available?

Yes! All the data collected by Scholarometer (discipline annotations, impact measures, and networks of authors and disciplines based on shared disciplines/authors) is openly available via the Scholarometer API .
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How can I help?

Use Scholarometer, that way you will annotate authors and papers and help populate our database so that we can collect sufficient statistics to compute reliably the universal hs index across disciplines. Help us spread the word about Scholarometer, so we have more users and more data. Finally let us know if you have ideas for improvements (see the next question).
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How do I contact you?

You can contact us with any requests, comments, suggestions, or complaints you may have on the feedback page .
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How did the Scholarometer project begin?

The idea came from conversations between Fil Menczer and Geoffrey Fox about some limitations of Google Scholar, ISI Web of Science, and tools to compute citation based impact measures. The Scholarometer project got started as an independent study by Diep Thi Hoang under the supervision of Fil Menczer in Summer-Fall 2009.
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Who has contributed to Scholarometer?

The members of the Scholarometer team are listed on the About page. We are very grateful to Geoffrey Fox for suggestions about the query interface, Alex Vespignani for the percentile suggestion and much other advice, Rajasee Rege for designing the Scholarometer Web site, Heather Roinestad for advice on Firefox extension development, Angie Hickman for lending her voice to the feature movies, and all the members of the Networks and agents Network for their support and suggestions. Finally we gratefully acknowledge NSF Award IIS-0811994 for funding the computing infrastructure that hosts the Scholarometer service.
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