This toolkit provides information to scholars looking to measure the impact of their research. Anyone using this guide should be aware that impact is measured differently in different disciplines and research areas. Caveats to note:
Impact, productivity, and performance are complex. Relying on one single number or factor to assess any of these is problematic and very likely to be misleading.
Most of the metrics in this toolkit are based on academics’ use of research. Factors such as community impact or clinical impact are much more difficult to determine and, arguably, just as important.
See our guide on calculating your H-index.
Author-level metrics attempt to measure the impact or reach of an individual’s entire body of work. The Hirsch-index, or h-index, is one such measure, which is calculated in Scopus, Web of Science, and can be calculated using Google Scholar. It favors those who have been publishing for a long period of time.
W. Glanzel (2006), On the opportunities and limitations of the H-index. Science Focus 1, 10-11.
See our guide on calculating Journal Impact Factor.
The journal impact factor (IF) attempts to measure the average reach or value of all journal articles published in the journal, based on the number of times their journal’s articles are cited. IFs are found in the Journal Citation Reports database.
SCImago journal rankings look at the number of citations received by a particular journal as well as the "prestige" of the journals in which the citations appear.
This is a free journal-ranking tool, as opposed to the Journal Citation Reports, which is available by subscription only.
The Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands has a comparison of journals by impact factor and by SCImago journal ranking. Sort by IF or SCImago rank by clicking on that header in the table.
Learn more in this article: Matthew E. Falagas, et al. (2008). "Comparison of SCImago Journal Rank Indicator with Journal Impact Factor." The FASEB Journal 22 (8): 2623-2628. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-107938.
This is an attempt to show the value of a particular article by times cited, as well as other factors.
Some publishers (e.g. Elsevier), databases (e.g. ScienceDirect), and journals (e.g. PLOS ONE) provide Altmetrics data alongside with the article information. TRACE, the repository for open access publications at the University of Tennessee, also provides Altmetrics data for articles/documents submitted to it, in the form of number of downloads.
Click here to see the Altmetrics data of several sample articles.