Skip to Main Content

Bibliometrics & Research Impact: Home

Research outputs can take many and diverse forms, However the most commonly recognised are publications in Academic Journals, Books and Conferences.  The impact of a publication can be measured qualitatively through peer-review and quantitatively through various metrics. The quantitative measurement of publications is generally referred to as bibliometrics.

Research Impact

Research impact refers to the influence of an academics's research outputs. Tools to track and measure impact are designed to help researchers understand how their work is being used and how it fits into the scholarship of their field overall. A scholar might ask, for example:

  • How widely is my work being cited in other scholarly publications?
  • How widely is my work being read?
  • Who is reading and using my work? What subsequent scholarship have I influenced?
  • How do articles that I published in a particular journal compare to articles that I published elsewhere?
  • What influence does my work have outside of academia?

Understanding the impact of one's research can help scholars build funding and promotion cases, select publication outlets for future work, and identify potential collaborators.

The research metrics and tools described on this guide help researchers to quantify some measures of the influence of their work.


Bibliometrics refers to the quantitative measures used to assess research output, in other words, publication and citation data analysis. Citation analysis is based on the premise that if an academic shows good citation metrics, it is very likely that he or she has made a significant impact on the field. However, it is important to note that the reverse is not necessarily true.

There are three main categories of bibliometrics: 

  • Article-level metrics include any measures of the influence of a single publication. The most metrics are available for journal articles, but some can apply to books, chapters, or other individual publications. They include times cited, article downloads, and most Altmetrics.
  • Author-level metrics aggregate the metrics of all of an author's publications to summarise his or her career overall. These metrics include the h-index and related measures, as well as citation totals.
  • Journal-level metrics are intended to describe the influence of a journal overall. The Journal Impact Factor is the most widely used metric at this level.

This guide provides information about the most common tools that individual researchers or research administrators can use to measure their own, or their institution's, citation impact.

It is important that research metrics are used responsibly, in a fair, transparent and robust way.

Head of Research Services

Ask Us

Creative Commons License

Follow Us

    Library Twitter