My RI- Measuring your Research Impact. The main metrics 2.

Some points to consider:

  • When comparing institutions, you must also consider the number of researchers in each institution.
  • Citation behaviour varies across disciplines, thus for example, an institution with a large medical school and strong emphasis on science will inevitably score higher in citation counts.
  • Citations take time to accrue
  • Average citation counts can be useful when making comparisons, but always compare like with like

H-index: The H-index is covered in detail in module 2. It is a popular metric in the sciences and is used to assess an individual, group of individuals or institution. The H-index (a single number) takes into account productivity (paper counts) and impact (citations). If an individual ahs an h-index of 7, this means that 7 of their papers have been cited at least 7 times each.

As with other key metrics, the H-index can only be used effectively when comparing like with like. As you will see in module 2, the calculation will also depend on the tool used.

Journal impact factor: the JIF is a metric applied to individual journals. JIF represents the average citation counts of papers published in a journal over a two year period. JIF is produced using data from the Web of Science. The JIF is updated every year and published in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) database. The JIF will be examined in detail in module 3. A word of caution: Look at these three JIF's from 2008:

  • Journal of communication 2.266
  • Quarterly journal of economics 5.048
  • New England Journal of Medicine 50.014

You can see that one journal's JIF is much higher than the rest - yet they are all the journals with the highest JIF in their subject. So again, you should always compare like with like.

Creative Commons License

My RI by University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, The National University of Ireland, Maynooth and the NDLR adapted by Marion Kelt, Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at