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Measuring research impact

What are bibliometrics?

You can use bibliometric measurements to assess the output and impact of research.

Bibliometrics refers to the quantitative measures used to assess research outputs eg publication and citation data analysis. It complements qualitative measures such as peer review.

You can use bibliometrics to calculate the impact of your research outputs when applying for jobs, promotion or research funding. It can also help you to identify journals in which to publish.

Furthermore, it can be used to learn about active and emerging areas of research as well as highlighting potential research collaborators.

Types of bibliometric measures

Here are some common bibliometric measures to calculate the impact of research outputs and publications:

  • Altmetrics: based on the number of times an article is shared, downloaded or mentioned on social media, blogs, or newspapers. Find out more about altmetrics.
  • Scholarly output: total number of outputs published. Measures productivity rather than impact.
  • Citation counts: citations for individual outputs or a set of outputs.
  • H-index: calculated by measuring the number of outputs and the number of times each publication has been cited. Watch a video on finding citation counts and H-index in Web of Science.
  • Field-weighted citation impact (only available in SciVal): The ratio of citations received, relative to the expected world average for the subject field, publication type and publication year.
  • Outputs in top percentiles (only available in SciVal): The number or percentage of outputs in the top most-cited publications in the world, UK, or a specific country.
  • Journal Impact Factor (only available in Journal Citation Reports): based on the average number of citations received per paper published in that journal in the preceding 2 years. Watch a video on how to use Journal Citation Reports
  • SCImago Journal Rank: an alternative to the Journal Impact Factor. The SCImago Journal Rank places higher value/weight to citations from more prestigious journals.
  • Scopus SNIP (only available in Scopus): a ratio of a journal's citation count per paper and the citation potential in its subject field. The Scopus SNIP normalises citation rate subject differences.

You can also check the SCImago Journal and Country rank portal to find the journal and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus database. These indicators show the visibility of the journals contained in the Scopus database from 1996.