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Synaptic Neuropharmacology: BIOL3361

This is a guide for Biology and Neuroscience students

Why is Research Impact Important?

Research Impact banner
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


articles vectorCitation 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. Keep in mind that not all journals are ranked.


academic building atop publication 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.


scholar profile vectorResearcher Impact is a measure of author productivity and impact over time.


press vectorSocial/Cultural Impact is relevant for scholars who may not necessarily have their creative works cited in scholarly literature. Metrics can include information on live performances, readings, reviews, recordings, screenings, exhibitions, grants awarded, and prizes won -- all indicators of a scholar's impact and influence.

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.

Metric Definitions

Desire a better understanding of the various metrics what they emphasize? Take a look at the Metric Glossary for some definitions.

Need Help?

Interested in knowing who has cited your work? Curious what your h-index is? Contact a subject librarian to show you how to track citations to your work, how to measure your research impact, and how to setup your scholarly profile.