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Research metrics

Information and resources to demonstrate impact using research metrics

Measures of researcher metrics

Citations can be used to demonstrate the impact of an individual journal, as well as a single paper or a researcher's body of work. The number of times an article has been cited can be an indication of quality, and can be used to notify influential papers or researchers in a field.

Researchers may be asked to demonstrate the quantity, quality and impact of their research publications for a variety of purposes, including:

  • to enhance researcher profiles and promote their research to potential collaborators
  • to benchmark their productivity for performance reviews
  • to support promotion or award applications
  • to support grant or other funding applications and progress reports

The output of an individual researcher can be measured using citation metrics, other alternative metrics, measures of esteem, and indices such as an h-index or field weighted citation impact (FWCI).

However, some research areas see more citations than others - see the tools below for information on measuring the influence of an authors' works within particular fields.

Metric Definition Tools


Altmetrics (alternative metrics) are qualitative data that are complementary to traditional, citation-based metrics (bibliometrics), including citations in public policy documents, discussions on research blogs, mainstream media coverage, bookmarks on reference managers, and mentions on social media.

For more information on altmetrics see the online guide: Altmetrics

Author identifiers

Author identifiers are unique identifiers that distinguish individual authors from other researchers and unambiguously associate an author with their work. For example, the identifier from the Scopus database is Scopus Author ID.

For more information on researcher profiles see the online guide: Researcher Profiles and ORCID iDs

Citations per publication

The number of citations received by an entity, divided by the number of publications produced by the entity.

​(Category Normalised
​Citation Impact)

The Category Normalised Citation Impact (CNCI) benchmarks the impact of an article or the impact of a researcher in a particular subject area. The CNCI of a document is calculated by dividing the number of citations by the expected citation rate for documents of the same type, year of publication and subject area. The CNCI for a set of documents, such as the work of an author or a group of authors, uses the average of all the CNCI values for documents in the set. 

CNCI can also apply across several subject areas although it is a more meaningful metric if it is only for a single subject area.

A CNCI of 1 would be on par with the average citations for the subject area; more than 1 would be above average; and anything below 1 would be less than average.

Note: CNCI in InCites is the equivalent of the Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) used by SciVal, but using data from Web of Science.

​(Field-Weighted Citation Impact)

The Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) is an author metric which compares the total citations actually received by a researcher's publications to the average number of citations received by all other similar publications from the same research field.

The global mean of the FWCI is 1.0, so an FWCI of 1.50 means 50% more cited than the world average; whereas, an FWCI of .75 means 25% less cited than the world average.


The h-index is an author metric that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the publications of an author. A researcher with an index of h has published h papers, each of which has been cited in other papers at least h times.


Create a profile in Google Scholar to ensure correct attribution of your publications and citations. Profiles can be private or public. All citations should be checked for accuracy.

For more information on researcher profiles see the online guide: Researcher Profiles and ORCID iDs

Researcher ID

The author identifier used in Clarivate's databases. Can be accessed via Researcher, Web of Science, InCites or EndNote Online.

For more information on researcher profiles see the online guide: Researcher Profiles and ORCID iDs


Measures of esteem

In addition to citations, you can include esteem measures into any grant or promotion application; this may include:

  • Recipient of a nationally competitive research fellowship
  • Membership of a statutory committee
  • Recipient of an Australian Council grant or Australian Council fellowship
  • Invitations to speak, particularly as the keynote speaker
  • Involvement in committees, organisations or societies
  • Editor or reviewer on a major journal or of a prestigious work or reference
  • Awards or rankings in prestigious lists
  • Fellowship of a learned academy