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Impact Factors

Understanding the Journal Impact Factor and the Author Impact Factor.

4 Ideas for Documenting the Impact of Your Research

Ideas for describing the value of your work when you're applying for a grant, job, or promotion. Details on each provided below.

  1. Get ideas of what evidence to collect by reviewing the Becker Model.
  2. Set up your ORCID profile and at a minimum fill in your employment, education and some of your works (do the rest later). Just registering and not filling anything in is like having an unlisted phone number - its not useful!
  3. Claim and or create your author profile in Web of Science, Semantic Scholar (if you are STEM), Dimensions and Google Scholar. Identify which publications have been cited most frequently. With Dimensions you can see where you land in social media and policy literature.
  4. Use these databases and Google Scholar to investigate citations of your publications and see how your work has been used by others
  5. Use Altmetric It! to explore news articles, social media activity, and policy documents citing an article (which can be done through Dimensions, which owns Altmetric.

See also: Ideas for Increasing the Visibility of Your Work.

  Please contact your library liaison for assistance.

What to Track? (1)

Review the Becker Model for Assessment of Research Impact for ideas.                        

✽ The Becker Model is a list of indicators of biomedical research impact.                                            

✽ It provides a framework to help you decide what information to collect on an ongoing basis to document evidence of research impact.

✽ Examples include:

  • contributions to healthcare policies or practice guidelines
  • presentations to audience outside your field
  • contributions to development of drugs, devices, or research methods
  • repurposing existing data for new uses.

Author Impact (2)

Generate your author profile in Web of Science                          

  1. Click on "Author Search."
  2. Search for your name.
  3. Retrieve your author profile.
  4. Sort the list of references so the most frequently-cited references are listed first.

Your author profile contains:

  • A list of your publications in Web of Science (including the journals that it indexes - it may not cover everything)
  • Citation counts for all articles listed
  • Your h-index
  • Charts and grafts (click "analyze author output.")

Article Citations (3)

Conduct a Cited Reference Search (Cited Reference Searching Guide)

Use Web of Science to identify articles that have cited one of your articles. 

  • Examine results to see how others have benefited from and built on your work.
  • Consider documenting the "citation count."

Use the "Analyze Results" function in Web of Science to look for trends within the articles that have cited yours. [Scopus example shown below.]



✽ Use the Google Scholar "Cited By" link to find scholarly articles, book chapters, reports, and "grey literature" that have cited one of your articles. 

  • Google Scholar typically retrieves more citing references than Scopus and Web of Science do. 
  • Google Scholar tends to find more non-English language publications, more non-scholarly articles, and more duplicate publications.

Alternative Metrics (4)

Altmetric It!                                                         

  • Download this Altmetric bookmarklet and save it on your browser toolbar.
  • When you're looking at an article on a publisher website or a reference in PubMed, click on the saved bookmarklet. 
  • This will generate an "alternative metrics" report for that article.
  • Altmetric captures news and social media references (blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts) to articles.
  • Altmetric also captures policy documents that have cited individual articles.
  • Can be useful for documenting interest in new articles that haven't been cited yet or articles that have public interest.

Increase the Visibility of Your Work

  • Register for an ORCID ID and use it when you publish.
  • Publish in open access journals to improve access for people who aren't affiliated with well-funded institutions.
  • Deposit articles in institutional repositories (e.g., UW's ResearchWorks) or discipline-specific repositories (e.g., PubMed Central).
  • Give your publications clear, concise titles. Include important keywords in the abstract.
  • Share your research through mechanisms other than journal articles, such as giving conference presentations, sharing research data, and mentoring.
  • Present seminars related to your research to groups outside your field, including policy makers, health care providers, and consumers.

Credit for many of these ideas is owed to the Washington University Becker Medical Library's publication "Enhancing Your Impact."