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Measuring academic impact: Overview

Overview: Measuring academic impact

This guide walks you through an array of different tools and metrics for tracking the output and impact of your publications. We focus mainly on the contribution your research makes to academia.

It contains videos, exercises and hand-outs to practice the following skills:

  • how to use various metrics applied in tracking the academic impact of your publications,
  • know about the different data sources available and their limitations,
  • the much used (but also controversial) author-level metric: the H-index,
  • journal level metrics, like the well-known Journal Impact Factor; one way of measuring the relative ranking of a journal within a particular field,
  • alternative tools like Altmetrics are an alternative for or complement to traditional citation impact metrics. They especially capture online attention - how has research been shared, discussed and reused online -, for example on X (Twitter), in scholarly blogs or policy documents, and in newspapers.

After going through the Measuring academic impact guide, you will be able to:

  • generally treat impact metrics with care: you know the pros and cons of metrics and which indicators to use for what purpose,
  • find the H-index of an author,
  • find relevant journals to publish in and compare journals based on journal metrics,
  • discover the use of your work beyond (academic) citations.

Books on measuring academic impact

Target audience master PhD

Master students, research master students and PhD candidates.