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Research Impact Metrics

Why do I need to know about output metrics?

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)

What are impact metrics?

Your outputs are the products of your research.  Depending on your field, these products can be publications such as books, book chapters and journal articles but for some fields these outputs are films, exhibitions, twitter posts or blogs, performances or works of art.  These last few are measured by alternative metrics (also called altmetrics).

To measure how your outputs were received by peers in your field we use metrics.  In the sub-pages here we take you through different ways to measure Article Metrics, Book Metrics and Alternative Metrics.  These are the recognised ways to gauge the success of your academic output.