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Research Metrics

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

Prestige, Influence, & Rigor

A common framework for research metrics is to look at their rigor, prestige, and influence. For books or book chapters, rigor can be measured by the stringency of the editorial and acceptance process. This might include the necessity of a prospectus and the revision requirements.

Prestige for a book can be measured in several ways. A common measure is to note the reputation of the co-authors of the book and the publisher that was accepted it for publication. It may also be noteworthy to note if the publisher recommended to the author that the book be written.

Metrics that can be used to infer the influence of a book include citation counts, how many books have been sold, how many libraries own copies of the book, and whether the book is listed on reading lists or collection recommendation lists.

It is important to note that book metrics are subjective and require that the data is contextualized within the context of the discipline and people's perceptions.

Some Questions to Ask to Obtain Book Metric Data

  • How many libraries hold the book in their collections? 
  • Is the book noted on any Best Seller lists?
  • Is the book used as a textbook?
  • Are there any book reviews?
  • Is the book available in an e-reader format as well as print?
  • Has the book been tweeted on Twitter?
  • Is the book noted on a publisher’s best-seller list?
  • What are the sales figures for the book?
  • Has the book been included in bibliographies?
  • Has the book or book chapter been cited in subsequent publications?
  • Has the author been invited to present on the topic related to the book or book chapter?
  • Has the author been invited to book signings?
  • Are there subsequent editions to the book?
  • Are there any translations of the book?
  • Has the book been awarded any prizes such as the PROSE Award or noted by an organization as having made a significant contribution to a field?


Characteristics of Metrics

Where to Access




Google Scholar


Web of Science


Book Citation Counts





Library Availability



Consumer Ratings




Reading Lists


NY Times Best Seller List

Doody’s Core Titles

Overdrive Recommendations

Project MUSE

GOBI – Cambridge Digital e-Collection

Book Reviews


NPR Book Reviews


NY Times Book Reviews

Amazon Book Reviews