Tracking Your Impact

Research metrics are quantitative measurements that are intended to evaluate a research project. Research metrics are tracked in a variety of ways and allow you to identify the impact of your own articles (and other forms of scholarly works) in addition to looking at the the impact and reach of journals.

Why care about metrics?

Different stakeholders have different motivations for tracking metrics. A few motivations include:

  • Competitive decision making in hiring or awarding grants, for example
  • Relative rankings, such as tenure/promotion and merit pay
  • External validation, which may help to attract students, faculty, donors, etc.
  • Strategic spending by libraries in acquiring materials

What are the different types of metrics?

Author Metrics

Author metrics attempt to quantify impact by analyzing citations arising from an individual author's publications.


What is it? The h-index, or Hirsch index, was originally developed to measure the impact of a particular author, but can be used to measure the impact of journals as well. The h-index takes into account the number of papers published and the number of citations received by these papers.

How is it calculated? h = the number of papers with a citation number greater than or equal to h

Where can I find the h-index? The h-index may be reported in a variety of places, including Web of Science, Google Scholar, and more. The h-index may vary by database because each database indexes different publications.


What is it? The G-Index was proposed as an improvement to the H-Index which accounts for the performance of an author's top articles.

How is it calculated?"[Given a set of articles] ranked in decreasing order of the number of citations that they received, the G-Index is the (unique) largest number such that the top g articles received (together) at least g^2 citations." (from Harzig's Publish or Perish Manual)


What is it? The i10-Index is an author metric created by Google Scholar.

How is it calculated? The i10-Index is simply the number of publications for which an author has received at least 10 citations.

Where can I find the i10-Index? The i10-Index can be found in on Google Scholar My Citations pages.

Journal Metrics

Journal metrics measure, compare, and rank research and scholarly publications. Journal metrics allow scholars and researchers to compare scholarly periodicals. Each metric uses its own formula to determine a journal's importance to the research community. Therefore, comparing results from a variety of metrics will provide a better picture of the real impact of a journal.

Journal Impact Factor

What is it?The Journal Impact Factor is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is used to measure the importance or rank of a journal by calculating the number of times its articles are cited. Journal Impact Factors are only available for journals indexed in Web of Science.

How is it calculated? The calculation is based on a two-year period and involves dividing the number of times articles were cited by the number of articles that were citable.

  • A = the number of times articles published in 2008 and 2009 were cited by indexed journals in 2010
  • B = the total number of "citable items" published in 2008 and 2009
  • A/B = 2010 Journal Impact Factor

Where can I find Journal Impact Factors? Although Journal Impact Factors may be reported in a variety of places, Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is a great resource for finding Impact Factors and a wide variety of other data, including citation and article counts, immediacy index, cited half-life, citing half-life, subject categories, and publisher information. Only journals indexed in Web of Science will have statistics available in JCR. To access JCR, select the appropriate link below:

Eigenfactor Score

What is it? An Eigenfactor score is a measure of a journal's total importance to the scientific community. Similarly to Impact Factor, Eigenfactor scores are only available for journals indexed in Web of Science.

How is it calculated? Eigenfactor is calculated using citations received in the current year for articles published in the last five years. Additionally, journal self citations are removed and the influence of the citing journal is considered. The sum total of all Eigenfactor scores is 100.

Where can I find Eigenfactor scores? Eigenfactor scores can be found in Journal Citation Reports and at

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)

What is it? SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a publicly available portal that includes the journals and country specific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus database.

How is it calculated? SJR is a "measure of scientific influence of scholarly journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance of the journals where such citations come from...[it] is a prestige metric based on the idea that 'all citations are not created equal.'"

Where can I find SCImago Journal Ranks? SJRs can be found at The resource also contains a wide variety of other data, including citation and document counts, H Index, subject areas and categories, and percent of international collaboration. Again, this information is only available for journals indexed in Scopus.

Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)

What is it? Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa. Unlike the well-known Impact Factor, SNIP corrects for differences in citation practices between scientific fiends, thereby allowing for more accurate between-field comparisons of citation impact. Similarly to SCImago Journal Rank, SNIP indicators are only available for journals indexed in Scopus.

How is it calculated? SNIP is calculated as the number of citations given in a present year to the publications in the past three years divided by the total number of publications in the past three years. Learn more about the methodology behind SNIP.

Where can I find SNIP indicators? SNIP indicators can be found at


Altmetrics describe a broad array of different metrics that evaluate attention through things other than citations. Altmetrics are mostly centered on digital engagement, such as views, downloads, media coverage, and social media mentions.

Altmetrics are a great complement to citation-based metrics because:

  • They can be quicker to accumulate than citation-based metrics.
  • They capture more diverse impacts that citation-based metrics.
  • In addition to journal articles and books, altmetrics can also apply to data sets, conference presentations, and more.

What is it? is a platform that helps to track and analyze the online activity around scholarly research outputs. analyzes a mixture of academic and mainstream sources to create an Altmetric Attention Score and donut.

How do I use it? offers a free Altmetric bookmarklet you can install in your browser. This bookmarklet will help you find the Altmetric Attention Score and donut for any item with a DOI.

Here are a few guides on how to use for different purposes:

PlumX Metrics

What is it?PlumX is another platform that tracks research metrics for all types of scholarly outputs (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more). The metrics are organized into 5 categories: citations, usage, captures, mentions, and social media. Learn more with this video overview of PlumX Metrics.

How do I use it? Here are a few guides on how to use PlumX Metrics for different purposes:

How can I track my impact?

Set up your personal profile to help you identify citations, reach, and impact of your work. You may choose to use more than one tool because the measurement of citation metrics vary widely.

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