Measuring Research Impact and Influence
Citation analysis or bibliometrics examines the linkages between citing articles. This is used as a quantitative measure of impact, influence or quality. This guide presents the tools that are available to measure the quantitative and qualitative impact of research; as well as how to track researcher impact. Use this guide to learn how to do cited reference searching to find out how often you've been cited and by whom, useful when preparing for promotion and tenure.
Why Measure Research Impact
Quantitative methods such as citation counts, journal impact factors and researcher specific metrics such as the h-index provide one means of measuring research impact.
These research metrics can be used:
- Benchmarking and performance evaluation
- Applications for grants, jobs and academic promotion
- By a researcher to maintain their own research profile
- In Department and Faculty reviews and National Human Resource Assessment exercises
Research impact can also be demonstrated qualitatively in terms of social and cultural applications and measures of esteem.
Data Measuring Research Impact
Data Data that is used for measuring research impact includes:that is used for measuring research impact includes:
- Number of times a researcher is cited
- Number of publications
- Number of times an article is cited
- Altmetrics (e.g. page views, downloads and blog post about an article)
- Number of articles published in a journal each year
- Number of journals in a subject area
- Half-life of journals
- Cited half-life of journals
Issues to Consider
Citation counts can be affected in a number of other ways:
- No single source is comprehensive
- Publication dates may affect your results
- Frequency of a journal may affect results
- Highly cited articles don't always mean excellent research, esteem must also be taken in to account
- Research measures across disciplines may differ
Tools to Measure Impact
Tools and their uses in research analysis:
Web of Science
- Author Search - for Author impact
- Cited Article Search - for Article impact
- Journal Citation reports - for Journal impact
- ResearcherID - for Author profile
- Author Evaluator - for Author impact
- Citation Overview - for Article impact
- Journal Analyzer - for Journal impact
- Citations - for Article impact
- Profile - for Author impact and Author Profile
- Publish or Perish - for Author and Article impact
- Altmetrics – for Article impact
- ORCID - for Author profile
Citation indexes track references of authors and their works included in the reference lists of their publications. They provide a means to search for and analyze the literature in a way not possible through simple keyword searching.
No one database will index all publications by an individual researcher.
Many databases include citation count data. The main citation indexes are:
When searching for citation data for an individual researcher it is recommended that you search at the least across both "Scopus" and the "Web of Science" citation Indexes.
What is impact factor? How is it calculated? How useful is the current system for authors? This short video gives a quick overview of these terms as they relate to scholarly publishing.