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Measuring Research Impact: Introduction

Learn how to measure the impact of your research.

In This Guide

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There are many excellent guides on measuring research impact and related topics. Two of these guides were especially influential in the creation of this guide:


Research impact is the demonstrable contribution that research makes to academia and society.

Why measure or track research impact?

  • Strengthen your case when you apply for promotion or tenure
  • Quantify return on research investment for grant renewals and progress reports
  • Strengthen future funding requests by showing value of your research 
  • Identify who is using your work and confirm that it is appropriately credited
  • Identify collaborators within or outside of your subject area

While there are many reasons to measure research impact, there has not been universal agreement on how to do so. Additionally, as methods of scholarly communication expand beyond the traditional journal article, existing metrics become less relevant. New metrics continue to be developed in attempts to improve upon existing measures.

This guide covers some of the more common measures of author, journal, and article impact - what they are, and how to find them. It also covers new metrics that go beyond published journal articles. Finally, it gives tips on how to broaden the impact of your research.

Some Interesting Reads on Measuring Research Impact