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Research Impact

Traditional ways to measure impact


Traditional measures of author impact include the number of publications in your field and the number of times these publications have been cited by other researchers. Listed below are two common research metrics that use different algorithms to measure scholarly output.

Common tools for calculating research impact, including the h-index, are Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar. Instructions for each of these tools can be found here.



The importance of a journal within a field and its impact are generally measured through the number of articles published per year and the number of citations to articles published in a particular journal. The table below lists some common ways of measuring journal impact.


Common Measures of Journal Impact


Impact Factor



Measure of...

Frequency with which the 'average article' in a journal has been cited in a particular year or other defined time period

Measure of importance: overall value provided by all articles published in a a journal in one year

Measure of prestige; accounts for number of citations received by a journal and importance of the journals that citations came from

Can it be used to compare journals from different disciplines?




Where can I get it?

Journal Citation Reports

Journal Citation Reports OR free from

Scopus OR free from SCImago Journal & Country Rank

(This table is adapted from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library's research impact guide.)