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Assessing Impact: Metrics, Altmetrics and Impact Factors

This guide highlights important metrics used to measure journal impact, author impact and article impact.

Making Your Research Visible

Metrics and altmetrics are used to measure the importance or research as demonstrated by usage, recognition and awareness. They are derived by algorithms that measure research that is both visible to machines and easy for machines to understand.

Anytime a machine finds if difficult to determine if an author for Article A is the same author of Article B, things may get missed in the counting.  For this reason it is important for researchers with common last names to ensure that algorithms can easily identify their research and count it as theirs.  The best way to do this is by securing a Researcher ID.   There are several out there but the most common is the ORCiD.  It is integrated into several databases such as Web of Science and Dimensions.

Another way of enhancing the visibility of your research; and hence its count; is by using Author Profile Tools.  Not only do these provide a profile that makes it easier for people to identify you as a fellow researcher, grant recipient or scholar;  they also provide researchers with a wealth of information about their impact. Some, like publons, not only provide information from their site, they also import metrics from databases or from a Researcher ID.  

A third way to make your research more visible is by publishing your research in Open Access.  Open Access publications are used more and hence tend to have better metrics and altmetrics.

Researcher IDs

Scopus Author ID

Registered Identifier by Scopus. 

Has tools to help track, analyze, and visualize scholarly research.

Researcher ID  

Registered Identifier by Thompson Reuter’s

Profiles display a researcher's subject areas, affiliations, co-authors, research output, h-index, h-graph and citation overview.


Provides free Registered Identifier. 

Links with other researcher IDs. 

ORCID profile can import research from other databases. 

Researcher Profile Sites


Publications imported from WofS, ORCID, or by a reference manager.

Citation metrics imported from the Web of Science.

Downloadable record summarising impact as an author, editor and peer reviewer.


Can create a profile similar to Google Scholar.

Used to track activity on Twitter, blogs, news outlets, etc. 

Research Gate  

Profile viewable by others.

Provides h-Index, citation information, site altmetrics, RGIndex and provides metrics for a wide range of scholarly outputs.

Google Scholar Researcher Profile  

Tracks and manages citations and research contributions.

Tracks H-index, i10-index, Total Citations