Measuring your research impact

Research impact is the effect that a piece of research has on the academic world and the wider community. 

  • How do I show research impact?

    Examples of ways to demonstrate research impact: 

    • Attention from other researchers 

    • New theories, methods or research questions 

    • Contribution to new policies 

    • Improved services or products 

    • Healthier populations 

    • Increased awareness/understanding of cultures, values and ideas 

    As a researcher applying for jobs, grants, or promotions, it is increasingly important to be able to show that your research is making this kind of impact.  

    Different disciplines have varied ways of officially communicating research (through articles, reviews, patents, book chapters, books, conference papers, posters, data sets, video/audio recordings, etc.), which means there are many ways to demonstrate impact. Publication metrics are part of how this can be done. 

  • What are publication metrics? 

    Publication metrics are a way of measuring academic activity, generally based on things that can be counted (quantitative).  
    They can include things like the number of articles, books, book chapters, conference papers, etc. you have published, or how many times other authors have cited those publications in their own work.  
    They can also include which scholarly journals you have published in, and how those journals are ranked in terms of prestige and influence.  
    More recently they include alternative metrics (“altmetrics”), which are designed to measure news, policy, and social media mentions of your research. 

  • What about other (qualitative) measures? 

    Depending on your field of research, qualitative measures can also be an effective indicator of your productivity and influence. These measures can include: 

    • Publisher prestige 

    • Awards and nominations 

    • Editorships 

    • Library holdings of your works 

    • International engagement and collaboration 

    • Industry or research partnerships 

    • Patents 

    • Previous successful grant or fellowship applications 

Tools available to measure research impact 


For more tools, see The Metrics Toolkit. This provides evidence-based information about research metrics across disciplines, including how each metric is calculated, where you can find it and how it should (and should not) be applied.