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Research Metrics

Bibliometric indicators

Bibliometrics (citation metrics) are a quantitative indicator of the reach of a publication. Bibliometrics use various statistical methods to analyse publications, author output and citation counts. Indicators can be gathered from multiple sources.

  • The Finding metrics section lists the sources you can use to find your publications, co-authors and who is citing your work.
  • This Guide will help you find bibliometrics for grant applications and performance.
About Normalised Indicators
Metric Description Tool
Normalised citation impact

Normalised indicators show how a paper, or group of papers, performs relative to averages or baselines.

Scopus

SciVal

InCites

Dimensions (free version)

Article-Level Metrics

Article-level metrics (ALMs) attempt to measure impact at the article level using traditional and emerging data sources (altmetrics). They quantify the reach and impact of published research. ALMs seek to incorporate data from new sources (such as social media mentions) and traditional measures (such as citations) to present a richer picture of how an individual article is being discussed, shared, and used.

The table below lists a selection of article-level metrics, a brief description and how to access them.

Metric Description Tool
Citation count

Sums the citations received to date in the data source (i.e., referenced by other publications).

Scopus

SciVal

Web of Science

Dimensions (free version)

Google Scholar (freely available)

Use: To benchmark visibility where researchers are from similar fields or disciplines and with similar career lengths.

Article downloads Article downloads is the number of times the full text of an article has been downloaded from a platform. The definition of a download may vary across platforms.

ResearchDirect (if you've uploaded the full text of your publication)

Publishers websites

Article views The number of times an article has been viewed on a platform. The definition of a view might vary across platforms.

SciVal

Publisher websites

Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI)*

The CNCI shows impact normalised for subject category, time and document type. Sourced from InCites. It is a useful metric for benchmarking.

The Category Normalized Citation Impact of a document is calculated by dividing the actual count of citing items by the expected citation rate for documents with the same document type, year of publication and subject area. When a document is assigned to more than one subject area an average of the ratios of the actual to expected citations is used. It allows comparisons between entities of different sizes and different subject mixes.

  • A value of one shows performance is on par (as expected) with the world average.
  • Values above one are considered above average. For example:
    • A CNCI of two is considered twice the world average.
  • Values below one are considered below average.
InCites (Clarivate Analytics)
Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI)*

The FWCI compares the number of citations received by a publication in the year of publication, plus the following three years, to the average number of citations received by similar publications (publication type, year, and subject area) in the year of publication and the following three years.

  • A value of one shows performance is on par (as expected) with the world average.
  • Values above one are considered above average. For example:
    • A FWCI of 1.20 is considered 20% above the world average.
  • Values below one are considered below average.

Learn how to find your FWCI.

Scopus

SciVal

* Normalised metric

Author-Level Metrics

Author metrics are measurements or benchmarks which help demonstrate your research impact.

Common metrics include:

  • Volume of publications and citation counts
  • Performance compared to others in your field
  • Journal quartile rankings (see: Journal-level Metrics in the table below)
  • h-index

The table below lists a selection of author-level metrics, a brief description and how to access them.

Metric Description Tool
Collaborations

Collaboration indicates the extent to which a researcher’s output have international, national or institutional co-authorship, and single authorship.

  • Industry — the percentage of your papers produced with co-authors from industry.
  • International — the percentage of your papers produced with international co-authors.
  • External — the percentage of your papers produced with co-authors outside your institution, such as corporate or health organisations.
  • Single authorship - a single collaboration type is assigned to ensure that the sum of the publications across all four categories adds up to 100%.

Use: The Collaboration metric is useful for exploring the extent of international and other types of collaboration and provides a method for benchmarking collaboration between researchers of similar fields or disciplines.

SciVal
Citation count (Career citation count)

The number of citations an author has accrued. The equivalent SciVal metric is Scholarly Output.

Use: In conjunction with other metrics to measure academic influence (how widely a researcher is cited). The number of citations will vary across platforms.

Scopus

Web of Science

Dimensions

Google Scholar

SciVal

InCites

Citations per publication

The average citations received per publication in a set of documents. This is calculated by dividing the author's citation count by the number of publications.

  • Normally favours seasoned academics relative to new entrants.
  • As a mean average, it can be skewed by highly cited publications.

Use: In conjunction with other metrics to measure academic influence (how widely a researcher is cited).

Scopus

Web of Science

Dimensions

Google Scholar

SciVal

InCites

Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI)*

The FWCI compares the number of citations received by a publication in the year of publication, plus the following three years, to the average number of citations received by similar publications (publication type, year, and subject area) in the year of publication and the following three years.

  • The world average (the word being the Scopus database) is 1.00.
  • A Field-Weighted Citation Impact greater than 1.00 indicates the publication has received more citations than expected, according to the global average of similar publications. For example, a Field-Weighted Citation Impact of 1.55 indicates the publication has been cited 55% more than the global average.
  • The Field-Weighted Citation Impact of a set of publications, for example, an author's publication, is the average Field-Weighted Citation Impact of a group of publications.
  • The Field-Weighted Citation Impact of a small set of publications can be skewed by a highly cited publication.

Learn how to find your FWCI.

SciVal
h-index

The h-index is intended to be a measure of productivity and impact. It measures the number of publications published (productivity) and how often they are cited.

  • An author has an h-index of X if X of their papers has received at least X citations. An example of a researcher with an h-index of 10 has 10 papers that have received at least 10 citations.

Learn how to find your h-index.

Scopus

Web of Science

Dimensions

Google Scholar

SciVal

InCites

Number of publications

An important parameter for the evaluation of scientific impact.

May include peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews, conference papers, scholarly books and book chapters.

  • This metric can be distorted by other authors mis-spelling the original author’s names or mis-referencing the title, each of which will register as a separate publication.

Use: In conjunction with other metrics to measure academic influence, e.g., how well an author is cited, how far journals and books are cited, and who cites a little or a lot.

Publishers websites
Percent of Outputs in Top 10 citation percentile

This is the percentage of your papers that have been cited enough times to place them in the top 10%. This is normalised for category, year, and document type.

Outputs in Top Percentiles indicate the extent to which outputs are present in the most-cited percentiles of the data source. The citation counts represent the thresholds of the 1%, 5%, 10% and 25% most-cited papers in Scopus per Publication Year are calculated.

  • Documents in the top 1% — the percentage of your papers that have been cited enough times to place them in the top 1% (when compared to papers in the same category, year, and of the same document type)
  • Documents in the top 10% — the percentage of your papers that have been cited enough times to place them in the top 10%. This is normalised for category, year, and document type.

Use:

  • Outputs in Top Percentiles metrics are useful to benchmark contributions towards the most influential, highly cited publications within similar fields or disciplines. It can also be used to distinguish between researchers whose performance seems similar when viewed by other metrics such as Scholarly Output, Citations per Output, or Collaboration.

SciVal

Measure this using Source Normalised Index per Paper (SNIP) or SCImago Journal Ranking (SJR)

Percent of Publications Cited (or uncited) This is the percentage of your publications that have been cited (or uncited). It is the extent to which other researchers have (or have not) utilised the research output of an author or set of documents. SciVal

* Normalised metric

Journal-Level Metrics

Consider journal quality when you:

  • want to publish (i.e., benchmark/evaluate the quality of a journal)
  • choose what you will read or cite
  • are evaluating your overall publication metrics (e.g., for grant applications, when applying for promotion).

Multiple indicators of journal quality have been established by various organisations, some of which are discipline specific.

No single number will give the complete picture. Always use journal impact measures with other metrics.

The table below lists a selection of journal-level metrics, a brief description and how to access them.

Metric Description Tool
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR)*

SJR is weighted by the prestige of a journal. Subject field, quality, and reputation of the journal directly affect the value of a citation.

  • Calculated using a methodology similar to the Google PageRank. It weights the value of a citation depending on the field, quality and reputation of the journal from which it comes so that “all citations are not equal”.
  • Citations are weighted on the prestige of the issuing journal.
  • The SJR influences how many points an article receives.
  • Calculated by citations received in the year from articles, reviews and conference papers published in the previous 3 years.
  • Normalised to citation behaviour in different subject areas.
  • Limited self-citations (up to 1/3 or total received) .
  • Calculated using Scopus data.

SCImago (SCImago Lab)

Find this in Scopus Sources

Use: For publications indexed in Scopus

Life and Health Science disciplines

In fields where the best journals cover the most topical research

Investigating across different fields

CiteScore

CiteScore is a simple way of measuring the citation impact of sources, such as journals.

  • The calculation of CiteScore for the current year, e.g., 2023, is based on the number of citations received by a journal in the latest four years (including the calculation year), e.g., 2020-2023, divided by the number of documents (articles, reviews, conference papers, data papers, and book chapters) published in the journal in those same four years (non-peer reviewed document types, such as editorials errata, letters, notes, and short surveys, are excluded).
  • Updated yearly.
  • Calculated using Scopus data.

Watch Scopus Tutorial: CiteScore metrics in Scopus (YouTube, 3m7s)

Find this in Scopus Sources

Use: For publications indexed in Scopus

It cannot be used to compare different disciplines

h-index

The h-index is intended to be a measure of productivity and impact.

  • It's a measure of the number of publications published (productivity) and how often they are cited.
  • Indicates the number of articles (h) cited least (h) number of times. For example, a journal with an h-index of 400 has published 400 articles cited at least 400 times each.

Learn how to find your h-index.

SCImago (SCImago Lab)

Percentage of documents in top journals

Publications in Top Journal Percentiles indicate the extent to which publications are present in the most-cited journals in the data source.This calculates how many publications are in the top 1%, 5%, 10% or 25% of the most cited journals indexed by Scopus.

  • The number of documents within a publication set published in good-quality journals.

Use:

  • Showcase the presence of publications in journals that are likely to be perceived as the most prestigious in the world
  • Publications in Top Journal Percentiles metrics are useful to benchmark researchers who are editors regardless of differences in size and disciplinary profiles and to showcase the presence of publications in journals that are likely to be perceived as the most prestigious in the world. In this situation, it is advised to use the Publication Type filter to exclude editorials and ensure that the types of publications in the data sets being compared are consistent.
SciVal

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP)*

SNIP measures a source’s contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. It helps you make a direct comparison of sources in different subject fields.

  • Calculated by the number of citations received in the present year by papers published, divided by the total number of papers in the past three years.
  • To normalise for differences in citation behaviour between fields, the value of a citation is determined by the number of references in the citing articles reference list.
  • Calculated using Scopus data.

Find this in Scopus Sources

Use:

  • For publications indexed in Scopus
  • Engineering, Computer Science and Social Science disciplines
  • Journal rank is not important
  • Investigating across different fields

CWTS Journal Indicators (free version)

5-Year Journal Impact Factor

The 5-Year Journal Impact Factor is the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past 5 years have been cited in the JCR year.

  • Calculated by the number of citations in the JCR year ÷ total number of articles published in the 5 previous years.

Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics)

Use: Broad View - The 5-Year Journal Impact Factor provides a broader view onto the citation data, but at the expense of granularity (which is reduced).

Article Influence Score*

The Article Influence Score determines the average influence of a journal's articles over the first five years after publication.

  • It is calculated by multiplying the Eigenfactor Score by 0.01 and dividing by the number of articles in the journal, normalized as a fraction of all articles in all publications.
  • This measure is roughly analogous to the 5-Year Journal Impact Factor in that it is a ratio of a journal’s citation influence to the size of the journal’s article contribution over a period of five years.
  • Calculated using Web of Science data.
Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics)
Eigenfactor*

Eigenfactor metrics use information from the entire citation network to measure the importance of each journal, much as Google's PageRank algorithm measures the importance of websites on the world wide web. Its journal ranking site provides the Eigenfactor metrics for every journal in the Journal Citation Reports since 1996.

  • The calculation is based on the number of citations to articles from the past five years in the JCR year, taking into account which journals those citations have come from and adjusting for differences in citation patterns across disciplines.
  • Citations from highly cited journals influence the score more than citations from lesser cited journals.
  • Excludes self-citations.
  • Calculated using Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports

Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics)

Use: For established researchers with publications indexed in Web of Science

Journal Impact Factor (JIF)

The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is a ratio that divides a journal’s received citations by a count of its published articles.

  • Calculated by the number of citations within one year to items published in the last two years.
  • This metric is also available without journal self-cites and as a five-year impact factor.
  • Updated yearly
  • Calculated using Web of Science data.

Watch Using Web of Science to find Journal Quality (YouTube, 2m19s)

Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics)

Use: For publications indexed in Web of Science

It cannot be used to compare different disciplines

Journal Citation Indicator (JCI)

The Journal Citation Indicator (JCI) is a new field-normalised metric that is calculated for all journals in the Web of Science Core Collection and is published in the JCR.

Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics)

Use: For publications indexed in Web of Science

The normalisation steps make it more reasonable to compare journals across disciplines, but careful judgement is still required (e.g. shouldn’t compare journals in arts and humanities to those in sciences)

* Normalised metric

Journal Listings

Business, Economics, Tourism

Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences

Medicine, Health, Nursing & Midwifery

Science and Engineering

Interpretation and good practice

The following guides provide advice and practical application tips for some of the most commonly used indicators.

Other Resources

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