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Research Metrics: Measuring the Influence and Impact of Research

A guide to understanding impact factors, journal rankings, h-index, alt-metrics, and other means of analyzing the influence and impact of published research.

In this guide...

In this Guide, you will find...

  • How to locate impact factors for individual journals using tools such as Journal Citation Reports (JCR)
  • How to conduct citation analysis by author and by article
  • New and alternative ways to measure influence and impact of research
  • Information on traditional and alternative forms of peer review

Responsible Use of Citation Metrics

What is Citation Analysis...and Why is it Important?

What is Citation Analysis?

Citation analysis is the study of the quantitative data derived from the use of citations (e.g. bibliographies, works cited, reference pages in books, articles or other publications) as a means of determining the scholarly impact or influence and assumed quality of a journal, an indvidual article, and an individual author/researcher. Citation analysis can be as simple as counting the number of times a person or article has been cited by others, a ratio of their citations to their output, or some other mathematical computation that relates their citation counts to other measures. There are multiple tools and resources that can be utilized for conducting citation analysis. This guide will explore many of these tools and resources as a means of assisting authors, reviewers, and others in making their quantitative and qualitiative assessments.

Importance of Citation Analysis

  • Tenure/Promotion
  • Document and quantify research impact
  • Justify future requests for funding
  • Quantify return on research investment
  • Discover how research findings are being used
  • Discover meaningful health outcomes

Outcomes of Research Impact (What is Measured by Citation Analysis)

  • Contribution to the knowledge base
  • Change in public law or policy
  • Change in understanding of a disease, disorder or condition
  • Change in practice
  • Change in community health

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