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Measuring Scholarly Research Impact: How To Measure Impact?

Why Would I Want To Evaluate Research Output?

There are a lot of reasons why people seek to quantify their own or other's research output:

  1. Evaluate the impact of your own work for tenure, promotion, hiring.
  2. Evaluate the impact of other's work for tenure, promotion, hiring.
  3. Compare researchers within in a given field in a more objective manner.
  4. Determine what journal to publish in for maximum impact.
  5. Identify premier journals in a given field of study.

Ways To Evaluate Impact

  1. Bibliometrics: within the context of scientific/technical literature, this typically refers to measuring impact by counting citations, specifically by counting how many times a particular work has been cited by other works - this will be the main method discussed in the other sections of this guide.
  2. Altmetrics: this is a newer method for analyzing research - it attempts to take into account quantifiable measures of impact beyond just citations.  This includes things like mentions on twitter, mentions in blogs, etc.   The idea is to get a fuller picture of impact in an increasingly online research environment.

Subject Guide

Thomas Harrod
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