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Research metrics

Information and resources to demonstrate impact using research metrics.

Researcher metrics and where to find them

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 
  • benchmark their productivity for performance reviews 
  • support promotion or award applications 
  • 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). 

The metrics in this table relate to a researcher's publications as a whole. See also the section on Publication metrics for those that relate to individual publications. 

The Research evidence for grants and promotion library guide provides example statements of how to express these metrics within an application or report. 


Metric Definition Tool
Total citations The sum of citations a researchers' publications have received for publications listed on their profile.
Total publications Number of publications a researcher has listed on their profile.
Average citations The number of citations received by a researcher, divided by the number of publications produced by the researcher.
h-index 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.
i10 index The number of articles published by a researcher that have at least 10 citations each.
Field weighted citation impact (FCWI)

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 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 a researcher benchmarks their impact in a particular 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 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 a researcher's outputs have international, national or institutional co-authorship. 

Academic-corporate collaborations record publications between a researcher 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.
% first author publications Percentage of publications where the researcher is listed as the first author.
Number of peer reviews Number of verified peer review assignments you have added to your profile.
Number of editor records Number of verified handling editor records you have added to your profile.
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


In top 1% of researchers

The total number of citations to a person’s output in a subject area must be in the top 1% when compared to all other researchers in that subject area, who have published papers in the last 10 years.

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

Views Top views percentiles, total views or views per publication
Downloads Number of times a publication has been downloaded from the platform.
Citation overview tracker ie. cites per year Number of citations received by a researcher by year.
Beamplot Visualisation showing normalised citation impact of a researcher's publications over time.
Geographic Citation Map Map of the distribution of citations a researcher has across the world.


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