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Journal Evaluation & Measuring Author Impact


This section of the guide includes information on some common metrics used to evaluate the impact of academic work, both from a traditional perspective using publication/citation data & using alternative metrics to measure the social influence of academic work in the larger online community.

Publishing with impact means that a researcher's work has:

  • Influenced a research community and prompted additional investigations
  • Changed clinical practice
  • Effected public health policy or outcomes

The ability to show that one has published with impact is important for:

  • the promotion and tenure process
  • grant funding applications and renewal requests
  • department/university performance reports 


Please remember that every metric has its benefits and drawbacks; there is no universal agreement in the scholarly community on which metrics are the most reliable. As a result, we recommend always using multiple methods and indicators to assess the overall impact of academic research, including qualitative and alternative metrics not based on publication statistics. As you do this, remember to choose the metrics that best capture the goal you have in measuring research impact.

We also recommend reading the following two advocacy documents that summarize some of the current discussions surrounding the use of metrics in academia.