Research accomplishment is usually measured by considering all citations with equal importance, thus ignoring the wide variety of purposes an article is being cited for. Here, we posit that measuring the intensity of a reference is crucial not only to perceive better understanding of research endeavor, but also to improve the quality of citation-based applications. To this end, we collect a rich annotated dataset with references labeled by the intensity, and propose a novel graph-based semi-supervised model, GraLap to label the intensity of references. Experiments with AAN datasets show a significant improvement compared to the baselines to achieve the true labels of the references (46% better correlation). Finally, we provide four applications to demonstrate how the knowledge of reference intensity leads to design better real-world applications.