Measuring Impact

The University of Alberta Libraries subscribes to various databases to help researchers analyse the impact of their research. These tools use citation analysis, which is one method of measuring and analyzing research output and academic impact by the number, nature, and linkages between citations used in scholarly work. Leydesdorff, L., & Amsterdamska, O. (1990). Dimensions of citation analysis. Science, Technology & Human Values, 15(3), 305-335.

There are numerous frameworks for measuring research impact using citations and other criteria.

For more information on how citation analysis and bibliometrics should best be used for research evaluation see: Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics

Author Level Metrics

There are various measures of author impact, some are: number and/type of of publications authored; number of citations received; and Author h-Index. The h-index metric is used to measure both the productivity and citation impact of a scholar's work. Please note that these values are likely to be different because different data sources are used for each database.

These metrics can be retrieved from the following databases:

Web of Science

Interdisciplinary coverage through citation indexes for journals, conference proceedings, books and data with emphasis on the sciences, medical, engineering and to some extent social sciences and humanities. More: Clarivate Analytics.


Coverage is predominantly publications in the areas of sciences, medicine, engineering and to a lesser extent the social sciences (includes Arts & Humanities, Business, Economics). More: Elsevier

Google Scholar

Coverage is broadly based, includes social sciences and humanities, and non-journal based literature. It is freely accessible, but the scope is unknown.

Name Disambiguation

Pulling accurate data can be difficult when measuring research impact because authors often have similar or the same names or an author's name may have changed during their career. The tools below can help to disambiguate your work from others and ensure that your entire academic corpus is included in any analysis:


Provides a persistent digital identifier that offers researchers a solution to disambiguation issues. Through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities.

Scopus Author Identifier

A service for articles indexed in Scopus, the Scopus Author assigned each author an identifier and groups all their publications together.

Researcher ID

A service for articles indexed in Web of Science, ResearcherID offers a solution to scholarly ambiguity and assigns each researcher an ID number that allows the ability to manage their publications and ensure that their work is attributed correctly. ResearcherID integrates with ORCID.

Journal Level Metrics

The following resources provide basic statistics such as, Impact Factor , which measures the citation impact of academic journals, the number of articles published per year, and annual citations to various journals.

Journal Citation Reports

Identifies top ranked journals by subject; the database is used to provide journal level metrics. Includes: Impact Factor, 5- year Impact Factor, Cited Half Life, Immediacy Factor, Eigenfactor and Article Influence Scores. Only journals indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection are assigned an impact factor.

Scopus Journal Analyzer

Select compare journals link in the Scopus database. Provides Source normalized impact paper per year SNIP, SCImago journal rank per year (SJR2 - pdf), Impact per publication per year (IPP).

This freely available site provides another measure of journal impact. Includes both sciences and social sciences journals, relies on 5 year citation data, and removes self cites.

Google Scholar Metrics

Provides both h5-index and h5-median, for top 100 journals by different disciplines and language of publication.

SCImago Journal Rank

Provides a measure of scientific influence of scholarly journals.

Alternative Metrics

Alternative metrics or altmetrics are an emerging field of new methods for measuring the use and impact of scholarly articles. Altmetrics provide article-level data and are based on electronic sources of information, such as number of downloads and pageviews from a publisher, repository or online reference managers, saves in Mendeley, or the amount of discussion generated in online venues such as twitter or blogs.

Altmetric data can be retrieved from:

Article level metrics, and online activity concerning scholarly publishing.

Impact Story

Focus is to assist scholars explore and share impacts of all their research products. Including journal articles, blog posts, datasets, and software. First 30 days are free. Annual subscription is for a fee.

Publish or Perish

A free, downloadable program created by Anne Wil Harzing that uses Google Scholar data to determine statistics for an author, including h-index, g-index, total publications, total citations, and average citations per publication or per year.

PLOS Article Level Metrics

Offers alternative metrics for articles that appear in PLOS journals.


Provides by article altmetric data and presents data from and Mendeley.

Institutional Benchmarking


A citation based evaluation tool for analyzing institutional research productivity and benchmarking output.

Additional information:

For more information or help, please contact your subject librarian.