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Research and Publishing Support: Research Impact

Research guide for information resources on citation count, journal impact, author identification, publishing, rankings and statistical analysis of publications

Measuring Research Impact

Research outputs such as journal articles, conference papers and other scholarly publications are the primary means of communicationg the results of academic enquiry. Metrics are increasingly being used to measure the research impact or research influence of an individual researcher or group. The most common metrics used to assess the quality of the research outputs and their academic impact are:

  • Citation Metrics
    These comprise the statistical analysis of citation counts, i.e. the number of times a research work, e.g. an article, is cited by other works.

  • Bibliometrics 
    This is a broader term which includes publication counts, citation analyses and content analyses.
  • Webometrics

    Webometrics include download counts and the number and type of hyperlinks. It may also be referred to as cybermetrics or scientometrics.


University of Queensland Library. Research Output and Impact Fact Sheet 1: How are research output and research impact measured? (Accessed 24 March 2012)


Databases for Citation Analysis

Quality Frameworks


Hermida, A. Social Media and Academic Impact. Accessed 1 April 2012.

Meyer, Eric T., Splashes and Ripples: Synthesizing the Evidence on the Impacts of Digital Resources (May 20, 2011). Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Report, May 2010. Available at SSRN:

University of North Texas. Research Impact Assessment: An Overview. Accessed 1 April 2012

Pendlebury, David A.. 2008. Whitepaper: Using Bibliometrics in Evaluating Research. Thomson Reuters. Accessed 3 April 2012.


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