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Research Impact

Explains bibliometrics, identifies sources of impact data and describes how to ascertain and maximise your own research impact and use the data for promotions, grant applications etc.
Measuring Journal Impact

When considering journal metrics to support a claim of your research impact, do so carefully and as only one form of evidence.


TIP: Within Journal Citation Reports and SCImago, journals are ranked in quartiles. To support a claim about impact, it may be useful to be able to say something along the lines of: "all my publications are in journals that are in the top 25% of journals in their categories".  Perhaps you can say something about the categories too - for example, do they indicate that you are reaching a very specific audience, or cross-disciplinary researchers?  How does this support your aims?


Impact Factors
  • a statistical measure of a journal's influence and impact on the global research community

  • often used as a factor in deciding allocations of public funding for research

  • journals may be referred to as "high-impact", based on their impact factor ranking

  • should be viewed and interpreted cautiously, and for individual journal titles relative to other titles within the discipline, rather than in isolation

Use Impact Factors to:
  • identify highly ranked journals to read and in which to publish
  • confirm the status of journals in which you have published
  • identify journals relevant to your research
Read about how impact measures compare

The impact of scientific publications has traditionally been expressed in terms of citation counts. However, scientific activity has moved online over the past decade. To better capture scientific impact in the digital era, a variety of new impact measures has been proposed on the basis of social network analysis and usage log data. Here we investigate how these new measures relate to each other, and how accurately and completely they express scientific impact.

...We sought to compare the newly introduced SCImago journal rank (SJR) indicator with the journal impact factor (IF). We retrieved relevant information from the official Web sites hosting the above indices and their source databases. The SJR indicator is an open-access resource, while the journal IF requires paid subscription. The SJR indicator (based on Scopus data) lists considerably more journal titles published in a wider variety of countries and languages, than the journal IF (based on Web of Science data)...

The launch of Google Scholar Metrics as a tool for assessing scientific journals may be serious competition for Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports, and for Scopus powered Scimago Journal Rank. A review of these bibliometric journal evaluation products is performed. We compare their main characteristics from different approaches: coverage, indexing policies, search and visualization, bibliometric indicators, results analysis options, economic cost and differences in their ranking of journals. Despite its shortcomings, Google Scholar Metrics is a helpful tool for authors and editors in identifying core journals. As an increasingly useful tool for ranking scientific journals, it may also challenge established journals products


Eigenfactor offers a free alternative to journal ranking, based on the network created by citations and footnotes. The Eigenfactor score of a journal is an estimate of the probability of a library user accessing that journal by following references.