Measuring Research Impact

This guide provides an introduction to the information and issues regarding researcher and journal impact

What is Research Impact?

"There’s amazing potential here on the frontier of science online; researchers shouldn’t be afraid to explore and to stake out what they want in terms of how people view their work" - Euan Adie, founder of Altmetrics

Research impact describes the effect research has in areas beyond academia, including benefits and influences to society, culture, the environment, and the economy.  Impact is used to measure scholarly productivity at the levels of author, article, and journal.

Why is Research Impact Important?

Understanding research impact can help with:

  • Justification for tenure and promotion
  • Obtaining government funding and grants
  • Learning how previous research is being utilized
  • Finding out who is using previous research
  • Identifying other researchers and potential collaborators in the field
  • Decisions about where to publish to achieve the best exposure

Metrics Toolkit

The Metrics Toolkit helps scholars and evaluators understand and use citations, web metrics, and altmetrics responsibly in the evaluation of research.

The Metrics Toolkit provides evidence-based information about research metrics across disciplines, including how each metric is calculated, where you can find it, and how each should (and should not) be applied. You’ll also find examples of how to use metrics in grant applications, CV, and promotion packages.

Impact Metrics Worksheet

This worksheet may come handy in collecting your research impact metrics. It will help identify both strengths and gaps that have to be addressed in a research impact statement.

We suggest starting with Web of Science and Google Scholar. If you don't find relevant metrics there, proceed to the other resources listed in the header.