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Scholarly Publishing: Measuring Your Impact

A guide to scholarly publishing and scholarly communication activities at Himmelfarb Library.

What is Scholarly Impact?

There are several tools available to help scholars gauge the impact of their research. This guide contains in-depth information on two such methods: bibliometrics (traditional metrics), and Altmetrics (alternative metrics), as well as links to other emerging means of quantifying scholarly impact. Click on the links to find out more about what these metrics measure, and how they are generated. 

Be aware that there is no one way to measure impact, and that we do not endorse one method over another. Methods preferred for one discipline may not be suitable for another. To get the most complete picture of your scholarly impact, draw on several sources of metrics: traditional/bibliometricsAltmetrics, and other sources of metrics such as Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Together, these sources will help you get the most accurate picture of your scholarly impact. 

Researchers should consult with their departments to find out which method(s) of measuring scholarly output are preferred in their discipline/area of study. 

Why Measure Impact?

There are several reasons why measuring scholarly impact is important. For authors, author-level and journal-level metrics can play a role in:

  • Hiring, promotion, and tenure - Citation-based metrics have traditionally been reviewed by hiring and promotion committees. 
  • Grant applications - Funders are beginning to require evidence of researchers' impact.
  • Annual reports - Metrics can help you determine the most influential research in your organization or department. 
  • Faculty and departmental webpages 

For more information on how metrics can be effectively used in promotion and tenure, see: Guthrie, S., Krapels, J., Lichten, C.A., Wooding, S. 100 Metrics to Assess and Communicate the Value of Biomedical Research. Freely available e-book from the RAND Corporation.

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