Research impact is increasingly important in government funding for research activity within the university sector. This has placed considerable emphasis on tracking citations of a researcher's published works and publishing within highly-ranked journals.
This guide provides information and tools for measuring research impact:
Citation databases are key tools in demonstrating the impact of an individual published paper or of a researcher's body of published work. They can be used to:
- Demonstrate the impact of an article by the number of times it has been cited since it was published (citing references)
- Use the author's references (cited references) to find the research that underpinned his or her work
- Find related work in a field of research
- Track the work of colleagues or competitors
- Track the development of a theory
- Identify influential (highly cited) papers and researchers or research groups
As no single database will contain complete information on who has cited a particular work, it is advisable to use multiple sources.
An impact factor is one way of measuring the relative ranking of a journal within a particular field. Ranked lists of journals can be used to:
- Identify prestigious and influential journals in a particular discipline
- Identify highly ranked journals in which to publish
- Help determine the allocation of research funding