This guide presents the tools that are available to measure the quantitative and qualitative impact of researchers and research.
Quantitative measures include h-index, citation counts, journals impact factors. Research impact can be demonstrated qualitatively in terms of social and cultural applications and measures of esteem.
Researcher and research metrics can be used to support:
Impact metrics are used by faculty for evaluation purposes when granting tenure, promotions and research funding so it's important they are understood accurately and in context by administrators and faculty members who may not be familiar with a researcher's discipline or subdiscipline. (source: Meaningful Metrics, Chin Roemer & Borchardt 2015)
The Australian Research Council stresses that:
"There is an increasing focus on showcasing or measuring the societal benefits from research, and a need for better coordination in reporting and promoting the impact of these research outcomes. This will become increasingly important in a tight fiscal government environment where returns on investment in research will need to be demonstrated in terms of environmental, economic and social impact. For these reasons and others, key stakeholders including government, industry and the community require more information on the benefits derived from investment in Australian research activities."
(source: Australian Research Council website)