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Research Impact

Responsible Use of Metrics

Before seeking impact metrics, consider what you are trying to show, and take care to contextualize the information appropriately. 

The recommendations linked below outline appropriate and ethical ways to use research impact data.


There are different indicators to show impact at the article level, journal level, and researcher level. There are many more indicators and measures beyond the basic ones listed here - these are ones you are more likely to encounter.

Different databases are going to have slightly different citation numbers for the same article. This is because databases don't index exactly the same sources. Web of Science is more selective about the content that it indexes. Google Scholar tends to include more unpublished literature such as conference posters and proceedings. uses open scholarly data.

Citation count is going to be less useful for brand new articles, as it takes time for papers to get cited. Citation norms also vary between fields.

Citation Count

The number of times an article has been cited by other works.

Where to find it


Researcher Level Bibliometrics


The h-index is applied to researchers, and is calculated by finding the total number of publications with the highest number of citations. For example, someone who has published 5 papers with 5 or more citations each, would have an h-index of 5. 

Where to find it

Journal Level Bibliometrics

Journal Impact Factor (JIF)

Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is issued by Journal Citation Reports (JCR), which is owned by Clarivate. Inclusion in the JCR is selective - not every journal will have an impact factor assigned. A journal must be in publication for at least three years to receive a JIF. 

JIF seeks to estimate the number of citations an average article would receive.

Where to find it