Measuring and showing evidence of the impact of academic research is becoming an everyday event in institutions across Australia and the world.

This module provides an overview of the quantitative and qualitative measures used to assess research output, identifies the tools that can supply the measures and how to derive them. At the end of this module you will:

  • Determine the research impact of information using Bibliometric and Altmetric tools.

Why measure research impact?

Research impact is important for:

  • finding quality information
  • evaluating information
  • identifying future collaborators
  • making grant applications
  • improving career success.

Research impact is often described in terms of what can be counted. Results from quantitative methods such as journal impact measures, Numbers associated with individual researchers such as their h-index, as well as the citation counts of individual articles, are all often referred to as bibliometrics.

Bibliometrics are based on research outputs. Commonly a researcher would have several publications to be able to measure the impact of that research. It would not usually be appropriate to measure the research impact of a new research student. A new research student should use bibliometrics to find and evaluate quality literature and consider possible collaborators for the future.

Other ways of determining impact can include qualitative measures such as peer review, letters of recommendation, institutional affiliation, successfully acquitted research grants, book reviews, conference publications, holdings in library catalogues and recommended readings for courses.

Workshop content