Publication metrics are measures of productivity/performance, quality, and impact/influence based on publication data and social or public engagement activity. They can be used to help you decide which journal to submit your article to, increase your research visibility, and convey your contribution to the research field. Metrics tell a story.
There is no single tool that measures the impact of all journals, articles, and/or authors across all disciplines. Each database offers their own citation analysis for particular journals indexed within that database.
There are a number of important factors to consider when looking at research metrics:
The link below defines many types of metrics. Some key definitions to know are journal impact factor, h-index, altmetrics, and citations/articles.
ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a free persistent identifier (PID) for researchers. By using an ORCID, your research and data will be connected to you.
"People use “ORCID” or “ORCID iD” interchangeably, but what they’re talking about is a 16-digit number and the associated record (sometimes called a profile) that stores automatic links to all your research, and links all your research with you. By allowing trusted organizations to add your research information to your ORCID record, you can spend more time conducting your research and less time managing it."
Metrics for individual articles are generally measured with citation counts. How many times have other articles cited the article in question?
Several databases include citation tracking information. See the next tab for a list of databases that TRU Library subscribes to that have this information. Note that it counts how many times the article was cited within that database, not across all research.
For more information, see the Metrics Toolkit page on articles and citations:
Here are some examples of how this information appears in a few different databases.
Web of Science
Business Source Complete
Journal impact measurements reflect the importance of a particular journal in a field and take into account the number of articles published per year and the number of citations to articles published in that journal. This gives the journal impact factor. The number is the average number of citations per publication.
As with many of these research impact measures, impact factors should only be compared within one field--a highly cited journal in one field may be low on citations when compared to another field's average.
For more information about impact factors, including limitations, see the Metrics Toolkit page on impact factor:
Journal Citation Reports is one of the best tools to find out the journal impact factor of many journals. This and other tools are listed below.
The most common way that individual researcher impact is measured is by the h-index. This number is defined with "H" being the number of papers an author has published that have been cited "H" times. For instance, an author with an h-index of 10 has published at least 10 publications that have each been published 10 times each.
The h-Index is only useful for comparing researchers who have a similar career length, similar field and is only a snapshot of a researcher's performance. Researchers from other disciplines, fields and subject areas can not compare their h-Index.
Here are places you can get your h-index. See the next tab for a list of strengths and shortcomings of the h-index.
Strengths of the h index
Shortcomings of the h index
See: Balaban, A. (2012). Positive and negative aspects of citation indices and journal impact factors. Scientometrics, 92(2), 241-247. doi:10.1007/s11192-012-0637-5
From: “Quantifying the Impact of My Publications” by Washington University in St. Louis Becker Medical Library
Alternative metrics, or altmetrics, are statistics sourced from the social web that can be used to help you understand the many ways that your work has had an impact with other scholars, the public, policy makers, practitioners, and more.
Altmetrics can answer questions such as:
Pros and Cons about Altmetrics
Alternative Metrics Tools
In Discover and EBSCO-hosted databases, TRU Library system is configured to provide alternative metrics. Look for the PlumX Metrics button to find out information about the article.