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The term research metrics is used here to encompass an array of methods that evaluate the impact of scholarship. Related terms include bibliometrics and citation analysis. Research metrics are used in the following situations:
A single number - be it impact factor or h-index - doesn't tell the whole story. Even a cursory look at the literature on research metrics reveals some serious problems:
Here are some ways to ensure you're using metrics responsibly and seeing the whole picture:
Citation Analysis is the basis for journal impact factors and individual h-indices. It allows a researcher to see who is citing their work, and is also often used to measure researcher and article impact.
Journal Impact is most commonly assessed using impact factor. Journal impact factor is often used to assess researcher impact, but there are serious concerns with relying on it as a standalone metric. Other numerical methods of journal assessment include the h5-index and the Eigenfactor.
The H-Index has gained popularity since its formulation in 2005 as a more accurate way to assess researcher impact.
Altmetrics include non-traditional sources of data--such as how many times an article has been downloaded or shared on social media--to assess impact.
If you want to learn how to increase the impact and distribution of your work, see the Increase Visibility tab.
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