What is Research Impact?
Research Impact generally refers to the effect research has in areas outside the academia - economy, society, culture, etc.
Whilst is it challenging to comprehensively and accurately measure research impact in larger context, there are some quantitative measures based on citation metrics that are commonly used by the academia as an indicator of the influence for research and researchers.
These metrics can be used to track author’s impact, journal impact and article impact. They might also be helpful to researchers to help them identify key publications and key authors in a field, and to support applications for tenure, research grants, or promotions.
An author’s impact is usually measured by the number of publications he has authored and the times the author’s publications are being cited by other researchers. Another researcher specific metric is the h-index. Both citation counts and h-index can be retrieved by conducting an author search at the citation databases Web of Science and Scopus.
The Library provides the Citation Search Services for faculty members who are interested in finding out their citation counts. Click Citation Search Service for details.
Journal impact measures the average number of articles published and the number of citations the articles received in that journal. It can be used to identify significant journals in a field and it may support publication decisions. Most commonly used metric for measuring a journal is the impact factor which is published by Journal Citation Reports every year.
Article Impact measures impact at the article level. It usually is the number of times a paper is cited by others.
Alternative Metrics or Altmetrics are increasingly used to capture and measure online sharing, mentions, views and downloads in social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blog post and social bookmarks, etc. Compared to more traditional metrics mentioned above, Altmetrics is viewed as one of the ways to measure the immediate impact of a work.