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Research Impact

Overview of the impact factor, h-index, altmetrics, and related tools

What is the Impact of Your Research?

Using a combination of Healey Library's resources and the web, researchers can gain a sense of the impact of their work, find out who has cited them, and work with software and other tools to help craft a narrative about your research. The number of times you or your works (including publications, conference posters, datasets, code, etc.) have been cited is one indicator of the impact that you or your work has had on other scholars' research and how your research has contributed to the growth of your field.

Note that there is not one indicator that you can look to that tells you the impact of your research. The best you can do is look at a variety of different measures to gain a sense of your work's impact. This guide provides an introduction to different metrics that can be used to measure research impact and links to resources you can use to gain a sense of the impact of your work and help you convey this impact to others.

Even if you don't believe that a metric (or set of metrics) can adequately communicate the impact of your research, they are increasingly used to evaluate researchers, groups, institutions, and even entire countries. They are sometimes factored into decisions regarding hiring, promotion, tenure, funding, and grants.

Metrics cannot tell you anything about the quality of your research. They are not direct measures of impact, quality, or performance. They are indirect measures that look at quantitative indicators of attention (citation counts, page views, downloads, etc.) and at best, they can be used as proxies to help you tell the story of your research's impact.

Much of what is covered in the Cited Author Guide can also be used to help you determine the impact of your research.

Criticisms - Metrics & (Researcher) Evaluation

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