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Research Impact Toolkit - Art

Research Impact for Art, Architecture, and Design

pencil writing on notepad vectorEvaluating the scholarly credentials in art and design is much different than in other fields. The diverse forms of information output, and different publishing and research trends in art and design are not always accommodated by the methods traditionally used in measuring the research impact within science and technology.


palette and paint brush vectorFor artists and designers, information about exhibitions, venues such as galleries, presentations, reviews, and prizes won, can be indices of the cultural/social impact and therefore of an artist's scholarly contributions. For art scholars, traditional citation analysis can be done, but other factors can be more meaningful. 

Why is Research Impact Important?

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It is important that researchers know their impact as it can help:

  • support applications for tenure or promotion
  • justify requests for grants and other funding
  • quantify and determine how their research is being used
  • identify other researchers or institutions that are using their work
  • identify other researchers, and potential collaborators, in their field

Understand Impact Measures & Metrics

Understand Impact Measures & Metrics

articles vectorArticle Impact / Citation Analysis, also called citation tracking or cited reference searching, involves identifying articles, books, or other materials that have cited a specific work. Citation analysis allows researchers to see who is citing their work, and is also often used to measure researcher and article impact.   

academic building atop publication vectorJournal Impact is most commonly assessed using impact factor. A measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year, the impact factor helps researchers evaluate a journal's relative importance, especially when compared to others in the same field. Most art and design journals are not ranked. 


Book vectorBook Impact can include reviews of a book, both scholarly and popular, publisher influence, sales figures (when available), and numbers of libraries that own the title. In some cases, the number of owning libraries is not enough evaluative information but, instead, which specific libraries own the title as well.


press vectorSocial/Cultural Impact is important for scholars who may not have their creative works cited in scholarly literature. Metrics can include information on exhibitions, invited lectures/talks, reviews, grants awarded, and prizes won -- all indicators of a scholar's impact and influence.

Researcher Impact is a measure of author productivity and impact over time. Common tools and metrics used to measure Researcher Impact favor science and technology fields and can be disadvantageous to the art and design fields. 


chat bubbles vectorAltmetrics are measures of research impact that supplement citations. They measure the wider, societal impacts of scholarly works by tracking how they are discussed, shared, saved, read, and reused by scholars and the public. 


bar graph vectorIf you want to learn how to increase the impact and distribution of your work, see the Enhance Your Impact tab.


Art & Architecture Librarian

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Jill Luedke
Charles Library, Suite 375