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Scholarly Impact Report

Metrics for Journal Articles

In many academic fields the journal article is the primary method of scholarly output, and there are several ways to measure the impact of such. We recommend using Google Scholar and Web of Science to gather citation data, rather than relying on sites such as Research Gate, where the quality of the underlying usage data may be questionable. Additionally, we use the Altmetric Attention Score to provide a more holistic picture of impact beyond citation count. Altmetrics track things like social media mentions as a way to quantify interest in the article. A final way we contextualize impact is through usage data gathered from the publisher’s website. 

While citation count is often thought of the most important indicator of an article’s impact, it is not a metric that is equal across all disciplines and tends to be higher for works in the sciences than the humanities. As such, please remember that no single metric is a perfect measure of scholarly impact, which is the reason this template includes several different options to show how people are interacting with your work. Ultimately it is up to you to decide which metrics best tell your story, and then edit the template to reflect the narrative you want to create.  



Steps in the Process

Your CV is a great document to use as the basis for works included in the impact report because it is the most comprehensive list of publications. Start filling out your report by pasting article citations from your CV into the template. Note that the template only includes a few blank entries, so you will need to duplicate these if you are planning to gather metrics for more than 3 articles. 



Once all citations have been entered in the report template, it is time to gather the metrics. Each citation will be followed by a chart with the metrics that we suggest using, but you can customize the chart to fit the data you wish to include. Both Google Scholar and Web of Science can be used to find the total citations and average number of citations per year. The publisher’s website will be used to get the Altmetric Score and usage data. If you are planning to use all fields in the table for each journal article included in the report, there is a potential of 3 different places to visit for each journal article. Depending on the total number of articles, collecting this information can take quite a bit of time, so plan accordingly.   

Rather than searching by title for each journal article individually, it can be easier to continue to use the author profile pages in Google Scholar and Web of Science, which were already used when creating the Author Summary Page of the report.