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Measuring Research Impact   Tags: bibliometrics, citations, h-index, impact, open-access, publishing  

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Getting Started Print Page

Research Quality Measures

 Three key measures of research impact are:

  • Quality of the journal – journal rankings, impact factors
  • Quality of the publication/article = times cited as found in tools like Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar
  • Personal or departmental measure = h-index

This guide has been arranged by these three areas - see the tabs across the page. There is also a link to the Where to Publish guide which has important information about identifying quality publishers for your research outputs. See also the information about Open Access choices.


Journal Impact

A number of tools are available for calculating the impact of journals. 

  • Journal Citation Reports provides impact factors for scientific journals
  • SCImago Journal Rankings uses Scopus data. Gives you quartile rankings for journals in each discipline category
  • The ERA Journal List ranks publications into discipline-specific tiers but the rankings have not being updated since 2010 and so will become less reliable
  • The Journal Quality List compiled and edited by Dr. Anne-Wil Harzing, covers the areas of economics, finance, accounting, management, and marketing
  • The Association for Information Systems' Journal Rankings edited by Carol Saunders, covers the areas of management information systems

Bibliometrics for the Individual


Differences Between Disciplines

  • Availability of citation data varies enormously between disciplines, as does the citation behaviour
  • Citation metrics mostly only available for peer-reviewed articles
  • Sciences – well covered by Web of Science and Scopus databases
  • Humanities – not as well covered, but Scopus has better coverage in this area; not included at all in JCR
  • Google Scholar covers most disciplines
  • Journals dedicated to very specific disciplines tend not to have high impact factors
  • Rankings are only relevant within disciplines


Liaison Librarians - Contact your local liaison librarian for help with measuring your research impact

Research Librarian - Email Jenny Cameron at for research support

Ask a Librarian - Email help


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