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Metrics for Grant Applications and Promotions

Use metrics for grant applications and promotions

Metrics may indicate research quality and provide supporting evidence of claims that researchers make about their track record, contribution to a discipline, international profile or capacity to collaborate.

Tips to enhance your research reporting:

Research metrics vary over time and between disciplines:

  • Always put your claims into context
  • Calculate regularly
  • Provide a source for your data
What metrics can you use?

Consider the following indicators for tracking and evaluating the impact of your article. See also: Elsevier Research metrics quick reference (PDF download).

The Library guidelines on Metrics for Academic Promotions_Exemplar Statements explains individual metrics and how to demonstrate the effect of those metrics in your Application, including author metrics, collaboration metrics, engagement and reach.

For Grant Applications

Check the grant 'Instructions for Applicants' and the Australian Research Council (ARC) ROPE Statement for their grant schemes.

  • Make sure your ORCID record and researcher profiles are correct and up-to-date and that you have bookmarked these for easy access.
  • Ensure you have applied Field of Research (FoR) codes to your research output where possible. To check if any of your research is missing a FoR, check this list of Publications without FoRs. For enquiries contact
  • Speak to your School Librarian about finding your top (1) Field of Research code (for NHMRC grants) or three (3) top Field of Research codes (for ARC grants). Your School Librarian can also help you identify your top 10 publications. For the three (3) ARC Field of Research codes you will be asked to work out the percentage of research you have in these Fields of Research (see next section below titled 'Finding your research areas'.
  • A statement about which authorship order is most prestigious for your discipline, e.g., first author position or last author position. You might consider adding this statement to your grant application.
  • Ask your school librarian for help setting up your SciVal, Web of Science/InCites, and Altmetric Explorer researcher reports so you can bookmark these for easy access to your metrics.
  • Don't repeat metrics across sections of your grant application.
  • Use the best-performing metrics to create example statements to include in your grant 'story' and help your research 'shine'.
  • Generally speaking, use percentages (%) for benchmarking your author performance against your academic unit, institution, Australia and the world. Where the option is available, exclude self-cites (use of self-cites is generally reserved for topics where there is not much research available, e.g., new topics)

Note: The use of journal-based metrics is not encouraged for National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants, as the NHMRC supports The DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment) recommendations on research assessment.

Reach out to your School Librarian for information about types of research metrics and how to set up, maintain and bookmark your researcher profiles. Contact your Research Development Officer in Grant Services for general inquiries about grant applications.

For Academic Promotions Applications

Refer to your Research Activity Statement (RAS) > Publications tab. The RAS is available from the Research Portal. The RAS includes the following SciVal metrics (you will find explanations for these metrics on the first or second page of your Research Activity Statement):

Research Activity Statement

Teaching and Learning component

Research and Scholarship and Engagement, Governance and Service components

  • Section 3b of the Academic Promotions Guidelines indicates that applicants should outline the research output, such as publications (including Non-Traditional Research Outputs), particularly demonstrating the quality and peer recognition of research achievements relative to your discipline standards.

Consider including the following metrics:

Collaboration (sector)

SciVal metrics InCites metrics
Academic-Corporate Collaboration (%)  
Academic-Government Collaboration  
Academic-Industry Collaboration % Industry Collaborations (%)
Academic-Medical Collaboration  
Academic Only Collaboration  
Academic Other Collaboration  

Collaboration (geographical)

SciVal metrics InCites metrics
International Collaboration (%) International Collaboration (%)
Only National Collaboration (%) Domestic Collaboration (%)
Only Institutional Collaboration (%)  
Single Authorship (%)  

Contributions to Impact

Altmetric Explorer
Societal impact, e.g., social media
Economic impact, e.g., patents
Health impact, e.g., policies
Knowledge impact, e.g., academia (see: FWCI (SciVal) in the Research Activity Statement and CNCI (InCItes))

For Levels D and E applicants:

You must include three significant scholarly sole-authored or collaborative works with their application, recommending that at least two of the three works be within the last five years or since your last promotion. These significant works must be submitted with your application as either a single electronic copy of each significant work (preferred) or three hard copies of each of your significant works. See Section 5 of the Academic Promotions Guidelines for more information.

Example statement per research output:

Citation impact (as at 22 July 2024):

PlumX metrics: 14 readers in Mendeley; Co-authored across three fields of research; SciVal Topic: Sweetening Agent; Nonnutritive Sweetener; Energy Intake (Prominence percentile: 98.512)

Journal information (Scopus Sources) (as at 22 July 2024):

BMC Public Health (open access) (CiteScore (2022) = 6.1): Q1 (91/577) (Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health) 

Consider using the following metrics per research output:

SciVal metrics InCites metrics Altmetric Explorer

Citation impact (as at DD/MM/YYYY)

  • [Article] Field-Weighted Citation Index (FWCI), e.g., FWCI=3.50

Citation impact (as at DD/MM/YYYY)

  • PlumX metric, e.g., 2 captures, 1 mention, 14 readers in Mendeley
  • Attention Score, e.g., AS=5
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), e.g., SDG4 (Quality Education)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), e.g., SDG=SDG4 (Quality Education)
  • SciVal Topic and Prominence percentile, e.g., SciVal Topic: Social Robot; Human Robot Interaction; Robot-Assisted Language Learning (Prominence percentile: 94.902)

Journal information (SOURCE NAME) (as at DD/MM/YYYY)

  • Journal title (CiteScore): Quartile, (Journal ranking) (Ranking subject), e.g., BMC Public Health (open access) (CiteScore (2022) = 6.1): Q1 (91/577) (Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health) 

Journal information (SOURCE NAME) (as at DD/MM/YYYY)

  • Journal title (Journal Impact Factor): Quartile, (Journal ranking) (Ranking subject), e.g., BMC Public Health (open access) (JIF (2022) = 6.1): Q1 (91/577) (Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health)

Academic Promotion Application CV

  • For your Academic Promotion Application CV, consider discussing the following:
    • your "strong" metrics (bibliometrics and altmetrics where you "shine") that are not included in your Research Activity Statement. For example, consider including these metrics:
SciVal metrics InCites metrics
[Author] Field-Weighted Citation Impact (see: Research Activity Statement) [Author] Category Normalized Citation Index (CNCI)
Scholarly Output Web of Science Documents
Citation Count Times Cited
Citations per Publication Times Cited: Average per item
  % Documents in Top 1%
  % Documents in Top 10%
  % Highly Cited Papers
  % Hot Papers

Contact your School Librarian for support, and refer to these Library guidelines on Metrics for Academic Promotions_Exemplar Statements.

  • reviews about your open textbooks as achievements (see page 13 of the Academic Promotions Guidelines under Teaching and Learning Information).

For more information about your Research Activity Statement, email the Research Data Team:

Finding your research areas

Analysing your publications in Scopus and Web of Science will tell you the following:

  • your main research areas
  • if your research spans other research areas, indicating if your research is multidisciplinary.

"My work is multidisciplinary - 34% of my articles are in the subject area of biochemistry, 29% in biophysics and 16% in oncology (Web of Science, 1/12/2019)"

Identifying your Fields of Research (FoRs)

In SciVal, change the Subject classification to Fields of Research (FOR).

  • Log into SciVal
  • At the bottom of the Overview module you will find a donut or pie chart titled Publication share by Subject Area. Use this to find the percentage of your SciVal research output classified by Field of Research (FoR) codes.

Deciding between Scopus or Web of Science data for tracking performance

This will depend on which indexing platform best reports your metrics.

Following is a comparison of Scopus (Elsevier) and Web of Science (Clarivate) data as at 2019:

  • 37,535 journals were indexed in Scopus (31% more), and 28,560 journal titles were indexed in Web of Science.
  • Journal coverage for Web of Science and Scopus in Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities is low.*
    • Scopus: The strongest coverage is in Biomedical Research, followed by Natural Sciences and Engineering.
    • Web of Science: The strongest coverage is in Natural Sciences and Engineering, followed by Biomedical Research.
* Source: Mongeon, P & Paul-Hus, A. (2016). “The journal coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: a comparative analysis”. Scientometrics 106. 213-228. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-015-1765-5

Features Scopus (Elsevier) Web of Science (Clarivate)
Materials Indexed
  • Active peer-reviewed journals: 23,793
  • Inactive journals (mostly predecessors of the active titles): 13,742
  • Conference papers: 8+ million
  • Books: 150,000+
  • Trade publications: 280
  • Book series: 560+
  • Patents: 39+ million
  • Active peer-reviewed journals: 20,219
  • Inactive journals (mostly predecessors of the active titles): 8,341
  • Conference papers: 10+ million
  • Books: 90,000+
Content focus (Institutional profile categories)
  • Health Sciences (28%) (100% MEDLINE, Nursing, Dentistry)
  • Life sciences (33%) (Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Biology)
  • Physical Sciences (19%) (Chemistry, Physics, Engineering)
  • Social Sciences (43%) (Psychology, Economics, Business, strong Arts & Humanities coverage)
  • Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences
  • Arts & Humanities (strong coverage)
  • Business
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Electronics & Telecommunications
  • Engineering, Computing & Technology (strong coverage)
  • Life Sciences
  • Physical, Chemical & Earth Sciences (strong coverage)
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences
Time period covered 1970-present 1900-present
Author indexing Author-generated by Scopus-edits only done by Scopus staff Author-created as part of Researcher I Dedited by authors
  • Broader international, non-English coverage
  • Stronger biomedical research coverage
  • Effective keyword/index term facet based on underlying databases with indexing
  • Powerful interface and more features:
    • Analyse search results: graphs by year, source (journal), author, institution affiliation, discipline, country, document type; exportable to MS Excel
    • Compare journals: compares up to 10 sources by impact metrics: number of citations, number of articles published in a year, % of articles not cited, & % of articles that are review articles, all graphed by year
    • View secondary documents, which are documents not indexed in Scopus (retrieved from the references or citations of the documents that Scopus covers).
  • In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) chose Scopus as a new data provider for its Science and Engineering Indicators report due to Scopus’ broader global coverage
  • Indexed journals have fewer coverage gaps
  • Deeper citation indexing across all content (back to 1900)
  • More options for citation analysis for institutions
  • More robust author searching - all authors from all publications are indexed, searchable and unified based on ORCID and ResearcherID profiles
  • Funding Data: 2008-present
Sources: Clarivate Analytics and Scopus webpages, A. Ben Wagner. (2015). A Practical Comparison of Scopus and Web of Science Core Collection (; Iowa State University, LibGuides: Scopus (


"My work is multidisciplinary - 34% of my articles are in the subject area of biochemistry, 29% in biophysics and 16% in oncology (Web of Science, 1/12/2019)"

Finding your level of collaboration

Find your level of collaboration by analysing your metrics in Web of Science and Scopus.

  • Do any publications have a corporate/industry author?
  • How many publications have a non-WSU or overseas author?

See also: Collaborations.


"70% of my journal articles have non-WSU Australian-based co-authors, with 15% of my papers involving international co-authors, including three papers with Harvard University co-authors (Web of Science, 1/12/2019)"

This Metrics for grant applications guide includes instructions on finding and using metrics to provide evidence of your track record and top papers.

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Library guide created by Western Sydney University Library staff is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY)