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Publishing: Measuring Impact

Measuring Research Impact

Researchers are often asked to demonstrate the impact of their research for promotions, grants, and other contexts. The tools listed throughout this page can be used to demonstrate and measure your overall research impact. It is important to note that no single metric is sufficient for measuring performance or impact.

For a comprehensive list of research metrics and where to find them, visit the following resource:

Researcher Impact


The h-index is an author-level metric that measures both the productivity and citation impact of the publications of a scientist or scholar. It is calculated using this formula: Number of papers (h) that have received at least h citations.

Resources for finding an h-index:

Author Identifiers

Author Identifiers make the process of measuring author impact easier by quickly and correctly identifying a researchers' publications.

Alternative Metrics (Altmetrics)

Alternative metrics (altmetrics) complement traditional citation-based measures. Alternative metrics show how many times a research output has been shared, mentioned or downloaded from online sources such as social media sites, blogs, mainstream media, and reference managers.

Track alternative metrics using these resources:

Journal Impact

One commonly used impact metric for journals is the Journal Impact Factor (JIF or IF) score.  It is an average of the number of times articles published in a particular journal have been cited in the two previous years.

Other journal ranking tools include:

Citation Impact

Citation impact refers to the number of times a publication is cited by subsequent publications. Use of citation counts in research metrics assumes that significant publications will demonstrate a high citation count.

The following tools can be used to obtain citation counts:

Article Impact

The Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) is a metric used to assess relative scholarly influence that a scientific article has had, as compared to other NIH-funded research. RCR metrics can be obtained using Dimensions or NIH's iCite Database.

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