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Measuring Research Impact: Getting Started

This guide provides an introduction to the various metrics used to measure research (author, article, journal) impact.

On Research Impact

Research impact is the demonstrable contribution that research makes to academia and society. Currently, there are many ways to measure and no  single standard. Furthermore, as new metrics are developed, existing metrics may become less relevant. 

Why measure or track research impact?

  • Strengthen your case when you apply for employment, promotion or tenure
  • Quantify return on research investment for grant renewals and progress reports
  • Strengthen future funding requests by showing value of your research 
  • Discover who is using your work and how

This guide covers some of the more common measures of researcher, journal, and article impact - what they are, how to find them, and what you should know to use them appropriately. 

Quick Ways to Get Started Tracking Your Impact

A Word About Tenure & Promotion

What "impact" do metrics have on promotion and tenure?

Those are decisions made by each department or college on campus. The best thing to do is to consult with the department chair or colleagues to learn what is useful in your discipline. You'll need a selection of tools and the set will vary by discipline.