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Research Impact & Bibliometrics


Evaluating Research Impact

This guide is intended to introduce scholars to the concepts of bibliometrics and the library tools that can be used to determine the impact of published research articles and research journals. Bibliometrics are particularly useful to faculty in the midst of tenure or reappointment proceedings, but can also be useful when applying for grants, and can illuminate trends in scholarship and assist authors when considering publication opportunities.

Selected Readings

In the selected readings section you will find a bibliography providing information on what bibliometrics and altmetrics are and how they are used as well as arguments against overreliance on bibliometrics. Hyperlinks to the article are provided.


The resource section provides links to tools that provide information for determining research impact. The resources are divided into author, article, and journal level metrics. 



Author metrics

Article Metrics

Journal Metrics


Selected Readings


Barnes, C. (2015). The Use of Altmetrics as a Tool for Measuring Research Impact. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 46(2), 121-134.

Bornmann, L. b. (2014). Do altmetrics point to the broader impact of research? An overview of benefits and disadvantages of altmetrics. Journal Of Informetrics, 8(4), 895-903.

Carpenter, T. A., Lagace, N., & Bahnmaier, S. (2016). Developing Standards for Emerging Forms of Assessment: The NISO Altmetrics Initiative. Serials Librarian, 70(1-4), 85-88.

Collister, L. B., & Deliyannides, T. S. (2016). Altmetrics: Documenting the Story of Research. Against The Grain, 28(1), 16-18.

Erdt, M., Nagarajan, A., Sin, S., & Theng, Y. (2016). Altmetrics: an analysis of the state-of-the-art in measuring research impact on social media. Scientometrics, 109(2), 1117-1166. doi:10.1007/s11192-016-2077-0

Featherstone, R. M. (2014). Scholarly Tweets: Measuring Research Impact via Altmetrics. Journal Of The Canadian Health Libraries Association (JCHLA), 32(2), 60-63. doi:10.5596/c14-015 

Ortega, J. j. (2017). The presence of academic journals on Twitter and its relationship with dissemination (tweets) and research impact (citations). Aslib Journal Of Information Management, 69(6), 674-687.

Williams, A. a. (2017). Altmetrics: an overview and evaluation. Online Information Review, 41(3), 311-317

Pradhan, P. p., & Dora, M. (2015). Altmetrics: An Alternative View-Point to Assess Scholarly Research Impact. International Journal Of Information Dissemination & Technology, 5(2), 123-130. 


Abrizah, A., Erfanmanesh, M., Rohani, V., Thelwall, M., Levitt, J., & Didegah, F. (2014). Sixty-four years of informetrics research: productivity, impact and collaboration. Scientometrics, 101(1), 569-585. doi:10.1007/s11192-014-1390-8

Barnes, C. S. (2016). The construct validity of the h-index. Journal Of Documentation, 72(5), 878-895.

Barnes, C. c. (2017). The h-index Debate: An Introduction for Librarians. Journal Of Academic Librarianship, 43(6), 487-494.

Bonnell, A. G. (2016). Tide or Tsunami? The Impact of Metrics on Scholarly Research. Australian Universities' Review, 58(1), 54-61.

Braun, S. (2017). Supporting Research Impact Metrics in Academic Libraries: A Case Study. Portal: Libraries And The Academy, 17(1), 111-127.

Gauffriau, M. m. (2017). A categorization of arguments for counting methods for publication and citation indicators. Journal Of Informetrics, 11(3), 672-684.

Gruber, T. (2014). Academic sell-out: how an obsession with metrics and rankings is damaging academia. Journal Of Marketing For Higher Education, 24(2), 165-177. doi:10.1080/08841241.2014.970248

Mahmood, K. (2017). Correlation Between Perception-Based Journal Rankings and the Journal Impact Factor (JIF): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Serials Review, 43(2), 120-129.

Morningstar, J. (2015). Meaningful metrics: A 21st century librarian’s guide to bibliometrics, altmetrics, and research impact. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.

Shah, S. R., & Mahmood, K. (2016). Validation of Journal Impact Metrics of Web of Science and Scopus. Pakistan Journal Of Information Management & Libraries, 18(2), 58-74.

Tahamtan, I., Safipour Afshar, A., & Ahamdzadeh, K. (2016). Factors affecting number of citations: a comprehensive review of the literature. Scientometrics, 107(3), 1195-1225. doi:10.1007/s11192-016-1889-2 

Open Access

Gargouri, Y., Hajjem, C., Larivière, V., Gingras, Y., Carr, L., Brody, T., & Harnad, S. (2010). Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. Plos ONE, 5(10), 1-12. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013636

Kanchan, T., & Krishan, K. (2015). Impact factor and open access - a misconstrued association. Current Science (00113891), 109(3), 397.

Salisbury, L., Chowdhury, A. R., & Smith, J. J. (2017). Faculty Publications from a Research University: The Scholarly Impact of Open Access versus Non-Open Access. Science & Technology Libraries, 36(2), 187-199. doi:10.1080/0194262X.2016.1273815

Teplitzky, S. s., & Phillips, M. m. (2016). Evaluating the Impact of Open Access at Berkeley: Results from the 2015 Survey of Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) Funding Recipients. College & Research Libraries, 77(5), 568-581.

Zhang, L. l., & Watson, E. e. (2017). Measuring the Impact of Gold and Green Open Access. Journal Of Academic Librarianship, 43(4), 337-345.

Research Impact

Bornmann, L. (2017). Measuring Impact in Research Evaluations: A Thorough Discussion of Methods For, Effects of and Problems with Impact Measurements. Higher Education: The International Journal Of Higher Education Research, 73(5), 775-787.

Brown, J. D. (2014). Citation searching for tenure and promotion: an overview of issues and tools. Reference Services Review, 42(1), 70-89.

Dhiman, A. a. (2015). Bibliometrics to Altmetrics: Changing Trends in Assessing Research Impact. DESIDOC Journal Of Library & Information Technology, 35(4), 310-315.

Jarwal, S. D., Brion, A. M., & King, M. L. (2009). Measuring Research Quality Using the Journal Impact Factor, Citations and "Ranked Journals": Blunt Instruments or Inspired Metrics?. Journal Of Higher Education Policy And Management, 31(4), 289-300.

Milat, A. J., Bauman, A. E., & Redman, S. (2015). A narrative review of research impact assessment models and methods. Health Research Policy & Systems, 13(1), 1-7. doi:10.1186/s12961-015-0003-1

Moed, H. F., & Halevi, G. (2015). Multidimensional assessment of scholarly research impact. Journal Of The Association For Information Science & Technology, 66(10), 1988-2002. doi:10.1002/asi.23314

Ruscio, J., Seaman, F., D'Oriano, C., Stremlo, E., & Mahalchik, K. (2012). Measuring Scholarly Impact Using Modern Citation-Based Indices. Measurement, 10(3), 123-146. doi:10.1080/15366367.2012.711147

Smith, K. M., Crookes, E., & Crookes, P. A. (2013). Measuring Research "Impact" for Academic Promotion: Issues from the Literature. Journal Of Higher Education Policy And Management, 35(4), 410-420.

Zhang, L., Rousseau, R., & Sivertsen, G. (2017). Science deserves to be judged by its contents, not by its wrapping: Revisiting Seglen's work on journal impact and research evaluation. Plos ONE, 12(3), 1-18. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0174205