A variety of metrics have been developed over the years to assess research impact for distinct scholarly purposes. They have different foci and their adoption rates vary. As more scholars turn to digital media to discuss research and share resources, new measures have been brought up to account for the online interactions in hopes that research impact can be assessed more thoroughly.
This guide provides an introduction to commonly used research metrics as well as recently developed ones. As Bollen, Van de Sompel, Chute, and Hagberg note in their study, "the notion of scientific impact is a multi-dimensional construct that can not be adequately measured by any single indicator, although some measures are more suitable than others." Researchers may want to consider the pros and cons of different metrics and use a combination of them as appropriate for assessment.
Discussions of Impact Metrics
Research Impact Assessment: An Overview
This is a brief introduction to different approaches to impact assessment.
Metrics: A Profusion of Measures
This article discusses the "metrics explosion" and provides a field guide to metrics.
The Maze of Impact Metrics
This editorial in Nature points out that research impact assessment "must take into account the effects of emphasizing particular measures — and be open about their methods."
A Principal Component Analysis of 39 Scientific Impact Measures
This is an analysis of how accurately and completeley new mesaures express research impact.
This is a report about the use and misuse of citation data in the assessment of scientific research.
Final Impact: What Factors Really Matter?
Below is the video of a panel discussion about appropriate ways to gauge the importance and influence of scholarly publications.