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This was a presentation given to the Junior Faculty Learning Community in Spring 2020.
Ways to Measure Impact
Journal Rankings - Impact Factor
Impact factor is a metric used to evaluate the importance of a journal to its discipline or field. It measures how often scholars and researchers have cited articles in a particular journal in the most recent two years and is calculated by dividing the number times articles were cited by the total number of articles published in that same journal for the time period. Journal impact factor only applies to a journal or groups of journals and cannot be used to measure the impact of individual articles or researchers and should only be used to compare journals in the same subject area.
Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is a comprehensive resource that allows you to evaluate and compare journals using citation data drawn from over 11,000 scholarly and technical journals from more than 3,300 publishers in over 80 countries. Journal Citation Reports can show you the:1) Most frequently cited journals in a field; 2) Highest impact journals in a field, and 3) Largest journals in a field.
Citation analysis is a quantifiable way to measure the academic output and impact of an article or an author based on the number of times these works or authors have been cited by others. There are several different tools that can be used to explore citation metrics:
Web of Science consists of three citation databases containing information gathered from thousands of scholarly journals, books, book series, reports, conferences, and more. These databases contain the references cited by the authors of the articles. You can use these references to do cited reference searching. (This type of search allows you to find articles that cite a previously published work.) Web of Science includes Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.
Google Scholar Google Scholar helps you find relevant scholarly research across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.
Scopus is an interdisciplinary abstract and citation database of peer reviewed literature.It indexes about 24,000 journals and includes several trade publications, book series, and conference proceedings. Coverage includes physical, life, health and social sciences, and some records from the arts and humanities.
h-index: The h-index is an index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output (J.E. Hirsch).
There are several databases (Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar) that will provide an h-index for an individual based on publications indexed in the tools.
Alternate Metrics (Altmetrics)
Altmetrics, or alternative metrics, are measures of social and public impact of research that complement traditional citation-based measures. Altmetrics aim to measure web and social media-based scholarly interactions. Examples of types of altmetrics include:
Usage: How many times was your work downloaded, viewed or clicked on?
Captures: How many times has your work been bookmarked or favorited?
Mentions: How many times was your work mentioned on blogs, Wikipedia, or news sites?
Social Media: How many times was your work shared on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter?
Why use altmetrics?
Provide a way to assess the immediate impact of your research.
Help create a broader picture of the impact of your research from a variety of sources.
Can measure the impact of other types of scholarship besides articles and books.
Can offer contextual information about who is engaging with your research.
What are the limitations of altmetrics?
They measure the attention that research is receiving (popularity), but they don't necessarily measure quality.
Altmetrics are still a relatively new trend in measuring impact, and as such, there are a variety of different tools, none of which comprehensively choose and gather from the same sources of data.
PlumX metrics (alternate metrics; product of Elsevier) are available to Rowan users for articles/content via Scopus and Rowan Digital Works.
ORCID provides a persistent unique digital identifier for authors.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) The DOI system provides a technical and social infrastructure for the registration and use of persistent interoperable identifiers, called DOIs, for use on digital networks.
ImpactStory is an altmetric aggregator that collects data from a variety of research products. It costs $60/year but you can try it for free for 30 days.