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Research metrics

Information and resources to demonstrate impact using research metrics.

Why use collaboration metrics?

Collaboration metrics provide information on research partnerships of academic entities from institutions, research groups or individual researchers.

Collaboration metrics may be used to:

  • demonstrate capacity to build collaborative research partnerships   
  • provide evidence of interdisciplinary collaboration   
  • demonstrate research capacity and productive research engagements and collaborations - internal & external   
  • benchmark globally or nationally against other researchers and other institutions   
  • provide evidence of engagement with industry, government or community

The academic collaboration metric enables benchmarking by comparing citation data of researchers in similar fields at three levels of geographic criteria: same institution, national and international.

The academic-corporate collaboration metric uses citation data to record scholarly activity between a researcher and other sectors such as private industry, government and NGOs.

Examples of research collaboration are being a joint author on a publication, networking at a conference, following and connecting with a researcher via social media or participating on a research project.

For individual researchers demonstrating research collaboration can be beneficial for:

  • applying for an academic position or promotion
  • submitting a research grant application
  • increasing your research engagement and impact
  • increasing your research profile.

See the library guide: Strategic publishing for information and tools about publishing your work.

Key tools for collaboration metrics

Finding collaborators


There are several tools available to assist with finding research collaborators. Scopus and Web of Science can be used to identify research trends or leading researchers in a subject area and allows researchers to be searched by their institutional affiliation or their geographical location.

SciVal (using Scopus data) can be used for benchmarking and identifying research trends and leading researchers in a topic cluster or a research area at an institutional or international level.

Determining the leading researchers in a field can assist with identifying potential publication sources or researchers to follow on social media or to network with at a conference.

Resource Tools to use Support

Analyze search results


Analyze author outputs

Scopus video tutorial: How to analyse your search results tutorial

Scopus user guide: How do I use the 'Analyze Author Output' function?

Web of Science

Search on a topic and use the Analyze Results

Clarivate guide: Authors / Researchers: Find Collaborators

Researcher metrics

See the Library's Research metrics guide

Use SciVal to find collaborators by topic clusters

SciVal can assist with identifying researchers in the same field for potential collaboration using Topic Clusters.

  1. Access SciVal.
  2. Select the 'Explore' tile (far left).
  3. Select 'Search entities' button located top left of screen. 
  4. Search the desired topic e.g. Solar Ponds.
  5. Select the topic e.g. Solar Ponds; Salinity; Exergy.
  6. Select the 'Authors' filter from the left side menu. 

This will enable you to see a list of the top 100 authors for the selected Topic by choosing the following from the drop-down menu:

  • Home Institution (e.g. RMIT University)
  • Institutions (e.g. Worldwide)
  • Countries and Regions
  • Scopus Sources (e.g. academic journals)

Note: You can select the desired publication years from the drop-down located beneath the Topic title. 

Use SciVal to find collaborators by research areas

SciVal can assist with identifying researchers in the same field for potential collaboration by searching for a Research Area or by defining a Research Area.

  1. Access SciVal.
  2. Select the 'Explore' tile (far left).
  3. Select 'Research Areas' from the 'Entity list' button (top left of screen).
  4. You can search for an existing Research Area, or you can define your own by using Search Terms, Entities (e.g. journal titles), or using Topics - see Define your own Research Areas page for more information.
  5. To define your own Research Area, select + Create new (bottom of page).  
  6. Next, create your definition by entering your search query string - read the instructions on the right of the page for more information about how to structure a search query.
  7. Add your search query making use of double quotes, parentheses and Boolean operators e.g. ("Green Roof" OR "Green Wall") AND "Heat Island", or by using keywords/terms e.g. any of these words: "Bush Fires" Bushfire Bushfires "Wild Fires" Wildfire Wildfires (Note: you don't need to use commas or semi colons between search terms, a space will suffice).
  8. When you have added your search query, select the 'Search' button (bottom right). 
  9. You can then refine your definition by applying one or more filters relating to:
    • Subject areas e.g. Environmental Science etc.
    • Scopus sources e.g. journal titles.
    • Institutions e.g. University name.
    • Countries/Regions e.g. Australia, United States, ItaIy etc.
    • Organization types e.g. Academic, Government or Corporate.
  10. Use the 'Limit to' and 'Exclude' buttons to apply the filters (Note: If you want to include publications from 1996 onwards, untick the 'Limit to publications in the past 5 years' box).
  11. When you have finished applying any filters, select the 'Next step' button (bottom right). 
  12. Name your Research Area using your own naming convention and select the 'Save and finish' button (bottom right) when done. 
  13. To view the most active authors and institutions in this Research Area, select 'Authors' or 'Institutions' from the left menu. 

Authors will enable you to see a list of the top 100 authors for the defined Research Area by choosing the following from the drop-down menu:

  • Home Institution (e.g. RMIT University)
  • Institutions (Worldwide)
  • Countries and Regions
  • Scopus Sources (e.g. academic journals)

Tip: Your Research Area can be used in the Collaboration menu (left of screen) to identify potential researchers or institutions who are active in your research area who are not currently collaborating with RMIT University. Select your defined Research Area when narrowing down to the research subject area.

Use Web of Science to find collaborators