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Measuring Impact: Measurement Strategies


Measuring the impact of your scholarly work goes well past the familiar Journal Impact Factor.  When preparing your Personal Action Dossier for tenure and promotion or when preparing a grant application, including the number of citations your article has had to date, your h-Index, and/or  the impact factor of the journals that have published your work can help show in quantitative terms the reach and value of your work.  See the page in this guide for more information about additional indices, including those focused on the individual author and that author's work through time.  See also this page for information about Alternative Metrics (altmetrics) and Article-Level Metrics.

Many of the tools you come across that provide you with one level of metric will additionally provide you with other levels of metrics as well.  Because of this, I recommend viewing the tabs in this LibGuide for additional information as well as the Bibliometrics Product Decision Chart linked below. 

Venn diagram 

Image Source:  Twitter

Author Level

Author level metrics include the H-index and related indices, and information that can be found about the Altmetrics use of a particular author using tools like Impact Story. The H-Index is a metric that can be viewed in either graph or list form.  The H-Index lists a number based on the number of citations to your articles. Authors can use several different sources for H-index, including Scopus, Google Scholar, or Harzing's Publish or Perish, or they can calculate their own H-index.

See the Author Level tab for how this figure can be discovered and used and to learn about variations of the H-Index.

Presentation on Measuring Research Impact

The presentation on Measuring Research Impact at ECU can be accessed through the Office for Faculty Excellence (You need to enter your Pirate ID and password to view it).  The presentation slides are included below.

Journal Level

Journal level metrics demonstrate a rank of the particular journal within its particular discipline, and are used as a proxy for the potential impact of particular articles.  See the Journal Level tab for more information and the tools you can use to discover the rating of the journals that have or will publish your work.

Primary journal level metrics include the Impact Factor, Scimago Journal Rank (SJR), and SNIP. Additional journal level metrics are available, including Eigenfactor scores, Article Influence metrics, and more.


Article Level

Article-Level Metrics

Instead of showcasing only the journal-level metric, publishers of your research may additionally offer article-level metrics where they use a platform, like Altmetric, to collect and collate article use information. These alternative metrics, or altmetrics, may include number of views/downloads, social media activity such as Tweets or mentions on Google+ and Facebook, mainstream news coverage, discussions on scholarly blogs, and usage among several online reference managers (such as Mendeley or CiteULike).

If your article's publisher does not use a tool like Altmetric to aid in the demonstration of your article's impact, you may opt to use your own altmetrics provider to collect that information.  Please see the Article Level tab for a list of providers and a short summary of what each offers.

In addition to published items like articles, chapters, and books, altmetrics can also be collected on other types of publications such as datasets, software, presentations, and blog posts.

As you might expect, your altmetric statistics will continue to increase over time. This is a figure that you can add to citations or other measures to demonstrate the impact of your work.