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PGR Library services & resources for Researchers: Measure your Impact: Citation Metrics

Metrics and the REF

Tools and guidance for research evaluation: indicating performance or measurement of author outputs, article level attention and journal rankings.  

The Metric Tide (July 2015), commissioned by HEFCE, concluded that metrics cannot and should not replace peer review in research assessment exercises.  It urges the use of Responsible Metrics (see: The Leiden Manifesto published in Nature). 
REF2021 "We do not accept that journal impact factors (or the use of specific lists of acceptable journals) are an appropriate factor in the selection of publication venue" (HEFCE

Identifying where to publish

See our checklists and guidance on journal evaluation tools in Scopus and Web of Science for advice on identifying suitable journals to publish in:

Metrics Toolkit

Boosting citations


Aksnes, D. W. (2003) ‘Characteristics of highly cited papers’, Research Evaluation, 12 (3), 159-170.
Corbyn, Z. (2010) ‘An easy way to boost a paper's citations [News]’. Nature, doi:10.1038/news.2010.406
Esyenback, G. (2011) ‘Can tweets predict citations?’,  Journal of Medical Internet Research, 13 (4).
Piwower, H.A and Vision, T. J. (2103) ‘Data reuse and the open data citation advantage’, PeerJ, 1:e175.
SPARC Europe (2015) ‘The Open Access citation advantage service’, SPARC Europe.  Available at: 
Wuchty, S., Jones, B. F., Uzzi, B. (2007).  The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science, 316 (5827), 1036-1039.
[some references courtesy of Aston University Library]

Tools for determining indicators or metrics:

Institutional Benchmarking

Dr Charles Martinez of Elsevier presented 2 workshops on using SciVal. UoP staff can access the recording of the workshops:

Author metrics

  The H-index is the main author metric. Created by Jorge Hirsch.

"Obviously a single number can never give more than a rough approximation to an individual's multifaceted profile, and many other factors should be considered in combination in evaluating an individual..........especially in life-changing decision such as the granting or denying of tenure" Hirsch

More information on the H-index 

But if you do want to know your H-index 

Journal metrics

Determining a journal's 'ranking' position may help you identify where to publish.  

Follow the golden rule of metrics - Never rely on one set of metrics.

Alternative metrics

The alternative measurement of impact. Altmetrics captures mentions from social media sites, newspaper articles, policy documents, television and radio.