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Measuring Research Impact: Introduction

Introduction

Academics and higher education institutions around the world have become increasingly concerned with the impact of their research. In Australia The Australian Research Council is responsible for administering Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), Australia's national research evaluation framework.

The Australian Research Council Research Impact Principles and Framework was developed to provide a common understanding of approaches, terminology and reporting of research impact.

This guide seeks to describe some of the ways in which you can:

  • Assess the impact of your research
  • Increase your research readership, citation count and influence
  • Increase the influence of your academic institution

This guide also seeks to provide you with some information and tools to measure research impact. This includes quantitative methods such as:

  • citation counts,
  • journal impact factors and;
  • researcher-specific metrics such as the h-index.

These research metrics can be used:

  • to support applications for grant funding

  • to support applications for promotion

  • by a researcher to maintain their own research profile

  • in National Assessment exercises such as the ERA

Research impact can also be demonstrated qualitatively in terms of social and cultural applications and measures of esteem: ARC Research Impact Principles and Framework

Further Readings

K. Yang & L. Meho (2007). Citation analysis: a comparison of Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science

Bornmann, L. (2013). What is societal impact of research and how can it be assessed? a literature review. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 64,2 p. 217-233.

Lancho-Barrantes, B.S. (2010). What lies behind the averages and significance of citation indicators in different disciplines? Journal of Information Science 36,3 p. 371-382.

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MyRI Tutorial

View the MyRI Measuring Your Research Impact tutorial, produced by a consortium of four Irish universities, for an overview of how to measure research impact:

Module 1 Introduction to Bibliometrics

This Module provides an overview of bibliometrics; the context for the use of publication and citation analysis in higher education; a look at the main metrics used; the main tools available to research staff and students and a look at the issues and limitations of bibliometrics.

Module 2 Tracking Your Research Impact

This module focuses in detail on the use of the main bibliometric tools (and resources) available to track and assess research performance at individual, departmental, institutional and country level.

Module 3 Journal Ranking and Analysis

This module highlights the main journal metrics used to evaluate journals. It looks in detail at the 'Journal Impact Factor' (JIF) and how it is calculated as well as highlighting additional journal metrics and emerging journal ranking tools.

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