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Research Impact

Research Impact

Research impact is the contribution that research makes to the economy, society, environment or culture, beyond the contribution to academic research (Australian Research Council, 2015).

Bibliometrics is also known as scientometrics and it is used to do quantitative evaluation of scientific articles and other published works that includes the authors of these articles, the journals where the works were published, and the number of times they are later cited (Jones, 2016).

Journal Impact Factor

Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is defined as a measure of the frequency with which the ‘average article’ in a journal has been cited in a particular year or period (Medical and Scientific Publishing, 2018).

JIF Impact Factor

Source: Garfield, E. Science 1972, 178, 471 – 479

Journal Impact Tools 

Citations Metrics 

Citation Metric Tools 

No. Name of the citation and indexing tool Coverage – Records
1. Dimensions 126 Million
2. Google Scholar Journal Metrics unknown
3. 247.5 Million
4. Publish or Perish unknown
5. Scite 29 Million
7. Web of Science 71 Million
8. Scopus 60 Million
9. InCites
10. SciVal
11. Journal Citation Reports
12. ScImago Journal Rankings
13. PLoS ALM
14. ImpactStory


Measures of Author Metrics

  • h-index. The Hirsch index (H-index) is a distribution-based indicator that corresponds to the number of papers at a given citation level equal to the value of the citation threshold. This statistic reflects the number of papers (N) in a given data set having N or more citations.
  • I10-index. The i10-index was created by Google Scholar as an index to rank author impact. Simply, it is the number of publications the researcher has written that have at least 10 citations.
  • g-index. G-index is the (unique) largest number such that the top g articles received (together) at least g2 citations (Egghe, 2006). It aims to improve on the H-index by giving more weight to highly cited articles that are “hidden” in H-index.

Google scholar collects citations and calculates author’s H-index and i10-index via google scholar citation. It also provides a simple way to check who is citing your publications and graph citations over time as shown in the example below;

Image (VC)


This is also called alternative metrics and it attempts to expand the scope of capturing metrics from the traditional way of citation count to include citations, quotes, shares, and mentions on other platforms however altmetrics do not replace traditional citation metrics but provide additional metrics of a publication or the researcher’s impact.

What are altmetrics

According to Altmetric, these are metrics and qualitative data that are complementary to traditional, citation-based metrics. They can include (but are not limited to) peer reviews on Faculty of 1000, citations on Wikipedia and in public policy documents, discussions on research blogs, mainstream media coverage, bookmarks on reference managers like Mendeley, and mentions on social networks such as Twitter.

Please find more information about altmetric here:

Altmetrics Tools

  • Altmetric
  • ImpactStory
  • PLoS Impact Explorer: This generates alt-metrics data from Altmetric with articles that have been published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

Limitations of Altmetrics

Altmetrics also have limitations for example mentions on social media and in the news may not be positive mentions but these will be captured yet they are not mentions about the quality of the publication. There is a possibility of some researchers artificially inflating the altmetrics for their research.

How to ensure online attention is tracked by Atermetrics:

Using metrics for University Rankings

In addition to organizing, making the researcher’s work more impactful, and raising the researcher visibility, the same metrics contribute to university rankings of where the researchers are tenured. The table below gives an indication of the research indicators. Metrics that contribute to university rankings.

Metric/ Indicator
Papers per academic staff
Citations per paper
% of papers with international collaborations
% of papers with industry collaborations
Reputation (Academic/ Employer)


There are various measures in University Rankings that consider research to rank universities, these are discussed below;

Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking). This is a benchmarking tool that covers about 1200 research universities that allows to view and compare their statistics using 40 indicators.

The Times Higher Education World University. This evaluates universities worldwide by their core activities—research, teaching, knowledge transfer, and international profile and includes 13 performance indicators that provide comprehensive and complex comparisons.

The Leiden Ranking. This aims to provide very detailed measures of the scientific impact of universities based on the Web of Science indexed publications. The ranking includes all the universities that have published at least 1000 publications indexed in Web of Science.

Webometrics. This advocates for open access and electronic access to scientific publications and to other academic material. Their indicators are based on the global performance and visibility of the universities; also many activities of researchers are shown by their Web presence. The Ranking Web covers not only e-journals and repositories but also informal scholarly presence.

Institutional benchmarking is used to measure an institution’s performance using a specific indicator in a metric of performance that is compared with other similar institutions. The Global Research Benchmarking System is based on seven indicators and it enables research institutions to create their own research profile and identify research areas in which they are active.