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Research metrics

Information and resources to demonstrate impact using research metrics.

University rankings

These are three of the better known university rankings systems. They use a range of criteria to assess and rank universities as a whole, as well as within discipline areas and geographic regions.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed by all countries at the United Nations in September 2015 and came into effect in January 2016. The 17 goals, 169 targets and 232 indicators are part of a broad agenda that provides a set of clear measurable targets to improve sustainability performance globally. These goals were developed based on the pillars of: protecting our natural resources and climate for future generations; ensuring dignity, equality and prosperity; fostering peace and inclusive societies; and promoting partnerships.

Find and analyse RMIT research addressing the SDGs using SciVal

Find research addressing the Sustainable Development Goals

Research addressing each sustainable development goal can be viewed in SciVal using the Research Areas menu. The publications addressing each goal can be analysed to view a range of data including the most active countries, institutions, researchers and top publications.

Follow the steps below to view publications that address SDG goals:

  • Select Explore
  • Select Entity list (top left)
  • Select the Research Areas icon from the dropdown list
  • Select the Search (magnifying glass),  
  • Type in SDG and select the SDG goal you would like to analyse

Find RMIT research addressing the Sustainable Development Goals

Publications addressing a SDG can be refined to reflect those from a particular country, institution or researcher aligned with the goal.

Below are the steps to view publications from RMIT University that address SDG goals:

  • Select Explore from SciVal homepage
  • Select Entity list (top left) and then Institutions icon (house)
  • Search for or select RMIT University and select year range required (3,5 or 10 or select dates when Saving publication set)
  • In the left hand menu, under RMIT University, select SDGs in the Research Fields section
  • Select the link to Scholarly Output from the SDG required to open the publication list
  • To select a particular year you can Refine to the years required and then Select 'Save as Publication Set' link at the top of the publication list

This will save the publications from RMIT, for the required date range selected, that address the SDG selected. This publication set can now be selected and analysed in the Explore module from publication sets Entity option. It will be a static list that won't be updated over time. To create a new current list the steps above will need to be repeated each time.

Institutional metrics and where they are located

The metrics in this table relate to a group of publications. An institution will have a group of publications affiliated with them in the Scopus and Web of Science databases and their related platforms. See also the section on Publication metrics for those that relate to individual publications or the section Researcher metrics for those relevant to a researcher's output.


Metric Definition Tool
Total citations The sum of citations an institutions' affiliated publications have received


Total publications Number of publications affiliated with the institution's profile.
Average citations The number of citations received by an institution's publications divided by the number of publications.
Field weighted citation impact (FCWI)

The Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) compares the total citations actually received by an institution's publications to the average number of citations received by all other similar publications from the same research field in the 3 years following publication.

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.

Category normalised citation impact (CNCI)

The Category Normalised Citation Impact (CNCI) for an institution  benchmarks their impact in a particular subject area. The CNCI for a set of documents, such as the works affiliated with an institution, uses the average of all the CNCI values for documents in that 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.


Extent that an institution's outputs have international, national or institutional co-authorship. 

Academic-corporate collaborations record publications between an institution and industry, government or NGO.

Papers in top percentile cited
1%, 5%, 10% and 25%

Number of papers that are in the top 1%, 5%, 10% or 25% of most cited for a given subject category, year and publication type.
International reach of citations Number of citing countries
Amount of papers in top journals

Journals ranked by:

SciMago Journal quartile eg. Q1, Q2
Scopus SNIP
Scopus Citescore
Journal Impact Factor


Number of highly cited papers Papers published in the last 10 years with the most citations (top 1%) when compared with papers in the same field and publication year.
Number of hot papers Papers published in the last 2 years with the most citations (top 0.1%) in the most recent two-month period compared with papers with same field and publication date.
Altmetrics mentions

Altmetrics (alternative metrics) are a collection of indicators that are complementary to traditional, citation-based metrics (bibliometrics) and include citations in public policy documents and patents, 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