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Measure Scholarly Impact: Overview

Measuring Impact

Impact can be measured quantitatively or qualitatively. Quantitative measures are things like citation counts, Impact Factors, etc. On the other hand, qualitative measures include: service on policy-making bodies, consulting, presentations, etc. The most appropriate measure normally depends on how the research is circulated, the type of research done, the target audience, and the career stage of the faculty.

Different disciplines have different ways to assess impact. For example, in the Sciences and Medicine, quantitative factors are more highly regarded than in the Arts and Humanities, while Accounting uses both.


Examples of different types of impact based on quantitative measures are: Journal, author, article. 

Journal impact is measured measured by the Impact Factor, which is the most-widely accepted metric to measure a journal. 

Author impact is measured by the H-Index

Article impact measures how many times an article has been used/downloaded, etc.


How Do You Measure Scholarly Impact?

Scholarly impact is the effect your research output has on relevant stakeholders in academia or in society. Disciplines have different ways to measure impact, but for most, impact is measured at the journal, author, or article level.

Use the above tabs to learn how to measure scholarly impact by:

  • Finding the impact factor of the journals you publish in,
  • Performing citation analysis which may include citation counts or your individual author h-index, or
  • Collecting altmetrics.

The most appropriate measure depends on the values of the researcher's institution and what the researcher wants to showcase. Sometimes, the tools used, the type of output measured, and the career stage of the researcher can affect the results.

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