Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research Metrics

This guide will help you understand research metrics about authors, articles/books, and journals.

Article Level Metrics

When conveying the quality of your research output, metrics about individual articles can add context and allow you to highlight significant publications. The key is to draw on various forms of information and make a case for the importance of your work while situating it within your discipline.

Research metrics are often framed around rigor, prestige, and influence. Rigor—which may be derived from the stringency of the review and publication acceptance process—and prestige—which may be derived from the overall value of a journal—are both used to justify the importance of published articles. These factors are tied to journal-focused metrics, which are more fully explained on the journals page of this guide. Prestige of an article may also be tied to authorship (e.g., Are you the first author or solo author? Is a prominent figure in your discipline a co-author?). Citation count is the most common metric used to communicate the impact or influence of a single article. Researchers may also use alternative metrics (e.g., social media posts) to indicate the influence of a particular publication. See the articles subpages for information on how to gather citations counts and alternative metrics using various tools. 



Wadham, R. Assessing the quality of scholarly communication.

West, R. E., & Rich, P. J. (2012). Rigor, impact and prestige: A proposed framework for evaluating scholarly publications. Innovative Higher Education, 37(5), 359–371.


Other general references about article metrics: