Research Impact Challenge

This guide contains 10 activities for researchers to better understand and manage their online scholarly presence, as well as the impact and reach of their research.

Day 7: Finding appropriate metrics

Welcome to Day 7 of the University Libraries Research Impact Challenge!

Yesterday we focused on what kinds of work you are doing. Today we’ll look at concrete ways the impact of that work might be measured, focusing on this question: How do you get from the work you do, to an appropriate metric for measuring and communicating its impact?

Let's get started!

Here's how to do it: 

1. The Metrics Toolkit, launched in 2018, is a great tool to help you navigate the research metrics landscape. Take a few minutes to explore this site. You might want to browse all of the included metrics, check out use cases for this tool, or read up on the Editorial Board, who take responsibility for maintaining and updating this tool.

2. Now that you are oriented, let's test out the toolkit. Go to Choose Metrics and select Type of Impact | Research Object | Discipline of Your Work from the drop-down menus. Then click Filter to see which metrics are suggested to meet your need.

3. Your results will likely include a mixture of bibliometric indicators, such as citations-based measures of impact, and less traditional suggestions, such as blog mentions or Mendeley readers. Do any of the suggestions surprise you?

4. Click on at least two of the suggested metrics and read about them, especially focusing on the Appropriate use cases, Limitations and Inappropriate use cases”'

5. Check out the Available metric sources for each type of metric. Would you know how to obtain this data if you wanted to?

What next? 

The Metrics Toolkit is a user-friendly introduction to identifying appropriate research impact metrics, but it’s not the only tool like this available. Check out Snowball Metrics for another approach to defining and identifying standardized, replicable, open, research impact metrics.

Learn more: 

Milat et al. “A narrative review of research impact assessment models and methods.” Health Research Policy and Systems (2015) 13:18. DOI 10.1186/s12961-015-0003-1. This review provides an overview of frameworks and methods of measuring research impact in applied in a subset of health sciences research published from 1990-2013.

Preparing for the next challenge: 

You've completed Day 7 of the Research Impact Challenge! While completing this challenge, you may have noticed that the Metrics Toolkit groups all citation-based measures of impact together. Tomorrow, we’ll dig into this category, looking at specific citation-based impact metrics, how to calculate them, and how to understand them in context.


This material has been adapted from the University of Michigan research impact challenge LibGuide created by Rebecca Welzenback, January 15 2019 and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2023 11:21 AM