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Boatwright Memorial Library

Impact Factors and Citation Analysis

Measuring Scholarly Impact

Article/book impact: The value of particular works, such as journal articles, conference proceedings, and books, can be measured by the number times they are cited by other works and alternative metrics such as tweets, blog posts, likes, bookmarks, etc. 


Journal impact: The importance of particular academic journals can be measured by the number of times their articles are cited and where they are cited. 


Researcher impact: The success of particular researchers can be measured by the number of works they publish and the number of times their works are cited. 

What is impact?

"Impact" describes the reach and influence of a scholar's work. Assessment of impact attempts to reconstruct the value you have given back to the community by examining things such as ...

  • How many scholars have continued the conversation by citing your articles?
  • Who is citing your articles?
  • What kinds of outcomes has your research led to? Have people built better protocols, instrumentation, or practice based on work you have done?
  • Who is noticing you? Have you given presentations to the government? To your local community?
  • What kind of impact have you had on your students? What impact have mentors had on you?

Impact is a complicated landscape, but it begins with you: your research, your relationships, and your outcomes. This guide provides tools that can help you create your own personal branding and assist with impact evaluation.

Acknowledgment of thanks to Kayleigh Bohemier, Jan Glover and Lei Wang at Yale University Libraries and Jennifer Elder at Emory University Libraries for their permission to use components of their research guides on impact factors and citation analysis.