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Research impact describes the influence of a scholar's or researcher's work. Researchers want to know their impact to help with tenure and promotion, justify grant funding, determine how their research is being used, identify other researchers using their work, and identify potential collaborators in their field.
This guide is meant to provide information about commonly used metrics and resources that you can use for your own analyses.
The Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics was published in 2015 by five experts urging responsible use in metrics, named after the conference where the idea came to fruition. They promote the following ten principles to guide research evaluation:
Hicks, D., Wouters, P., Waltman, L., de Rijcke, S., & Rafols, I. (2015). Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics. Nature News 520(7548), 429–431. https://doi.org/10.1038/520429a
The Metric Tide Report, published in 2015 and commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (UK), is a report of the independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment and management. Traditional metrics have long been used as indicators for research and researcher impact. Their use can be problematic when taken out of context with uncritical acceptance. Responsible metrics should be considered and understood in the following dimensions:
The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (SF DORA) recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated. The declaration was developed in 2012 during the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology.
The DORA roadmap for the next two years will focus on three strategic goals to enable signatories to take action:
From SF DORA at www.sfdora.org.
Grateful acknowledgment to librarians Carrie Price and Elisabeth White at Albert S. Cook Library, Townson University for allowing reuse of information from their Research Metrics LibGuide.
We recorded a webinar on March 17, 2022 about various metrics that can be used to measure the impact of journals, articles, and authors. View the slides and the recording below.