LibGuides: Research Impact & Metrics: MEASURE YOUR IMPACT (2023)

About Research Metrics

LibGuides: Research Impact & Metrics: MEASURE YOUR IMPACT (1)
"Measuring impact is not a perfect science, and there are many who argue against its implications altogether." (from: UC Berkeley:Research Impact)

It's important to note that any of the methods used for measuring impact should not be used to compare journals across disciplines.

There are many sources/databases for finding metrics. Each one will differ based on the journals indexed in that database, the dates of the journals indexed, and how complete the journal indexing is.

Author-Level Metrics

Author-level metrics measure yourproductivity and diversity of reach:

  • Scholarly output: How many publications have you written?
  • Journal count: In how many distinct journals or journal categories have you published?
  • What is your H-index?
    • H-index is an author-level metric that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the publications of a scientist or scholar. The definition of the index is that a scholar with an index of h has published h papers, each of which has been cited in other papers at least h times. It is believed that after 20 years of research, an h index of 20 is good, 40 is outstanding, 60 is truly exceptional.
  • How many times have you, as an author, been cited?
LibGuides: Research Impact & Metrics: MEASURE YOUR IMPACT (2) Some Useful Databases for Author-Level Metrics
  • Scopus Author Profile

    Although ODU does not subscribe to the full Scopus database, you can still view Scopus Author Profiles (limited to the first 10 documents and limited metadata). The profile is a unique record generated from peer-reviewed articles and other publications that are indexed in Scopus where the researcher is specified as an author.

  • Web of Science

    Publons was incorporated into Web of Science in 2022. The peer review and editor data from Publons is incorporated into the Researcher Profiles.

  • Google Scholar Profile

    Set up a Google Scholar profile to keep track of citations to your articles. You can check who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it may appear in Google Scholar results when people search for your name.

Article-Level Metrics

Article-level metrics look atCitation Counts which cantell you:

  • how many times have your articles been cited?
  • what journals arethey being cited in?
  • is the rate of citation steady over several years?

Use our guide toCited Reference Searchingto learn about using Web of Science, Google Scholar, and other library databases for cited-reference searches.

Journal/Publisher Metrics


Journal or publisher metrics addressprestige that particular publications are seen to carry. Some measures include:

  • Journal Impact Factor
    • Use Journal Citation Reports(video tutorial) to find the JIF used to rank journals. It is important to note that only journals indexed in Web of Science are measured -- Web of Science journals are limited by discipline andtype of journal. See tab above for "Using Journal Citation Reports."
  • CiteScore
    • CiteScore is Scopus'smethod of measuring the citation impact of journals. It calculates the average number of citations received ina calendar year by all items published in that journal in the preceding three years. Note: Because ODU does not have a subscription to Scopus, use of the CiteScore is limited.
  • SCImago Journal & Country Rank
    • SCImago Journal & Country Rank includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database.
  • Eigenfactor and Article Influence
    • ranks the influence of journals and articles much as Google’s PageRank algorithm ranks the influence of web pages. By this approach, journals are considered to be influential if they are cited often by other influential journals.
  • Google Scholar Metrics
    • See tab above for "Using Google Scholar Metrics."

Useful Databases with Journal Information

  • Cabells Journalytics and Predatory Reports

    Current (Restricted to ODU)

  • Directory of Open Access Journals

    Coverage varies by journal (Unrestricted)

  • Ulrichsweb

    Current (Restricted to ODU)

Using Journal Citation Reports

Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

1997 - Present (Restricted to ODU)

About Journal Citation Reports:

Impact Factors can be used to:

  • Identify journals in which to publish
  • Identify journals relevant to your research
  • Confirm the status of journals in which you have published

Things to Know:

  • Not all journals have impact factors, especially in the field of education and other humanities. Only journals that are indexed inWebofKnowledgehave JCR impact factors.
  • A journal only has one impact factor, but it may be listed in multiple categories.
  • An impact factor should not be looked at in isolation, but in comparison to journals in that same category- impact factors vary across disciplines.
  • One metricis not sufficient for evaluatingan author's work.
  • The impact factor was originally devised to show the impact of a specific journal, not a specific scholar. The quality and impact of the author's work may extend beyond the impact of a particular journal.


  • JournalImpactFactor:In Journal Citation Reports (JCR), the impact factor measures the importance of a journal by calculating the times its articles are cited. The calculation is based on citations to articles from the most recent two years, divided by the total number of articles from the most recent two years.
  • 5-Year Journal ImpactFactor:In JCR, citations to articles from the most recent five years, divided by the total number of articles from the most recent five years.
  • Journal ImmediacyIndex:In JCR, citations to articles from the current year, divided by the total number of articles from the current year.
  • Journal Cited Half-Life:For the current Journal Citation Reports year, the median age of journal articles cited.
  • Eigenfactor:Similar to the JCR Five-Year Impact Factor, but weeds out journal self-citations.
  • ArticleInfluence:The Eigenfactor score divided by the number of articles published in the journal. Measures the average individual article in the journal (as opposed to the journal as a whole).

Using Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar Metrics

Google Metricsassigns an h5-index to journals. The h5-index is based on how many articles that journal has published and how many times articles have been cited. For example, a publication with five articles cited by, respectively, 17, 9, 6, 3, and 2, has theh-indexof 3.

To search for a specific journal, click onTop 100 Publications. Type your journal using the search icon at top right.

Things to Know:

  • Google Metrics covers articles published in the past 5 calendar years.The metrics are based on citations from all articles that were indexed in Google Scholar in a recent month. Example, citations dating between 2016 and 2020 from articles that were indexed in July 2021 are used to make up the journal's h-index and h5-median

For more information seeGoogle Scholar Metrics.

Book Metrics

Finding metrics for books and book chapters is more difficult than journal articles. Try these resources:

  • WorldCat: find out how many libraries include your book in their collections
  • Web of Science: find out how many times your book was cited in the Web of Science
  • Google Scholar: find out how many times your book was cited in Google Scholar
  • Search for book reviews to get a sense of how your book was received
  • Find the book on your publisher page, which may provide other metrics and reviews

WorldCat Identities-- an experiment that is no longer available but may offer some aggregated data about your books.


ALTMETRICS(Alternative Metrics) allow us to measure and monitor the reach and impact of scholarship and research through online interactions (primarily social media).Altmetricsare a complement to traditional metrics. Learn more at

LibGuides: Research Impact & Metrics: MEASURE YOUR IMPACT (6)

Altmetricis a web-based service that allows anyone to track, search, and measure the conversations about their research happening online on an article-by-article basis. You can download theAltmetricbookmarkletand click on it when you are on a journal article page (that includes a DOI).

  • The Bookmarklet only works on PubMed, arXiv or pages containing a DOI with Google Scholar friendly citation metadata
  • Twitter mentions are only available for articles published since July 2011

LibGuides: Research Impact & Metrics: MEASURE YOUR IMPACT (7)

In ODU Digital Commons and other databases, PlumX metrics will be available for items with a DOI. Find out how many publications have cited it, how many downloads and views, how many blog or social media mentions.

These are examples of publishers that have incorporated altmetrics into their websites, or are compatible with the Altmetric Bookmark.

  • PubMed (Medline and more)
  • Research Gate
  • LinkedIn
  • Mendeley

Download Counts

Share your work in the ODU Digital Commons, and receive monthly download reports.


  • Metrics Toolkit --From the website: "The Metrics Toolkit is a resource for researchers and evaluators that provides guidance for demonstrating and evaluating claims of research impact."
  • The Metric Tide-Wilsdon, J., et al. (2015). The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role ofMetrics in Research Assessment and Management. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4929.1363


Most Common Metrics

  • An h-index of10means that 10 of yourarticles have been cited at least 10 times. You may have 100papers, and 4 of them have been cited 100 times, but only 10 of them have been cited at least 10 times. The h-index is also known as the Hirsch index and is a combined measure of both productivity and impact.
  • One caveat about the h-index is that it correlates with the length of a researcher's career (i.e., researchers who have been publishing for longer tend to have higher h-indices). It can also be inflated by self-citation. In addition, the h-index ignores the order of authorship, which is very important in some disciplines. Additionally, because different disciplines have different publishing practices, the h-index should not be used to compare researchers across different disciplines. Average impact scores vary widely from discipline to discipline. ​
  • h-index Prediction Tool: Predict what your h-index will be in the future.
  • h-index based upon data from the last 5 years
i-10 index
  • i-10 index is the number of articles by an author that have at least ten citations.
  • i-10 index was created by Google Scholar.
  • The Eigenfactor score is a measure of the number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) year.

More Metrics:

  • weights highly-cited papers more heavily. An index of g means that your g most highly-cited articles together have at least g-squared citations. Your g-index will always be equal to or greater than your h-index.
  • (aka individual h-index) takes number of co-authors into account. Your hi-index is equal to your h-index divided by the average number of authors on the articles in your h core.
  • (aka contemporary h-index) weights newer articles more heavily than older articles, so that articles lose their value over time. This allows a clearer picture of more recent levels of productivity and impact.
  • takes differences in career length into account, by dividing your h-index by the number of years that you have been publishing.
  • the (square root) of the surplus of citations in the h-set beyond h2, i.e., beyond the theoretical minimum required to obtain a h-index of 'h'. The aim of the e-index is to differentiate between scientists with similar h-indices but different citation patterns.
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