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Scholarly Publishing Guide

Information to help faculty and students decide how to disseminate their research and track their impact

Research Metrics

Citation-based metrics have long been the accepted measure of scholarly productivity and impact. Increasingly, however, scholars use a broader suite of tools - commonly referred to as altmetrics - to capture a more holistic picture of how their research influences the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Explore the tools listed below to learn more about a variety of research metrics.

Metrics Toolkit

This evidence-based resource allows you to explore metrics you want to know more about or select metrics that best fit your discipline and desired outcome - e.g. cultural impact, attention/reach.

Citation-based metrics

These metrics focus on article citations as a gold standard for measuring the impact of research. Citation metrics can be used to evaluate individual researchers, departments/centres, institutions, disciplines, countries and other modes. 

Challenges to citation metrics include their vulnerability to "gaming"; failure to adequately capture differences between disciplines and journals, and their tendency to privilege pure versus practical research.

Broad-impact metrics (Altmetrics)

Intended to provide a broader picture of research impact, these platforms can be used by individual researchers, departments, institutions, publications and more. In addition to citations, these newer - or alternative - metrics include impact measures such as media coverage and social media. 

However, as with citation metrics, these measures may fail to capture a full range of scholarship by omitting non-article outputs such as preprints, posters, data sets, conference proceedings, etc. 

Altmetrics Guide

From the University of Waterloo - overview of altmetrics, advice, usage examples and more.

Explore popular Altmetrics tools: