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Research Impact Challenge

Welcome to Day 5 of the Research Impact Challenge!
Earlier this week we focused on depositing your work in institutional repositories that often provide some metrics you can use to convey the impact of your work. Today we’ll look at additional, concrete ways you might demonstrate the scope and impact of your creative and scholarly output, focusing on this question: How do you get from the work you do to an appropriate metric for measuring and communicating its impact?

Let's get started!

Today's Challenge:
Explore and test the Metrics Toolkit.

Here's how to do it: 

1. The Metrics Toolkit is a user-friendly tool to help you navigate the dynamic research metrics landscape. Included in the tool are summaries of dozens of the most popular research metrics, like the Journal Impact Factor and the Altmetric Attention Score. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this site. You might want to check out use cases for this tool, or read up on the Editorial Board, which is comprised of a range of experts who maintain and update the Toolkit.

image of Metrics Toolkit logo

2. Now that you are oriented to the site, let's browse their metrics to learn why they exist and what they can do. One the home page, click on "Explore Metrics." 

3. You will see a mixture of bibliometric indicators, such as citation-based measures of impact, and less traditional metrics, such as blog mentions or Mendeley readers. Do any of the metrics surprise you? 

Examples of available metrics, like blog mentions and Amazon ratings

4. Click on at least two of the metrics and read about them, especially focusing on the “Appropriate use cases,” “Limitations,” and “Inappropriate use cases.”'

Pro tip: Consider limiting your metrics list by a category meaningful to you, like metrics associated with book chapters, or authors, or datasets. 

list of filters, including authors, books, datasets, and journal articles

Check out the “Available metric sources” for the metrics you selected. Would you know how to obtain these data if you wanted to?

Pro tip: reach out to your subject librarian for help!

What next? BONUS Challenges!!

The Metrics Toolkit is a user-friendly introduction to identifying appropriate research impact metrics. Today's bonus challenges will provide additional insights and depth.

  • BONUS Challenge 1: Check out the Citation Metrics page on this guide for ways to access traditional bibliometrics (like the h-index or Journal Impact Factor).
  • BONUS Challenge 2: Peruse the Altmetrics page on this guide, which provides an introduction to alternative ways to measure impact that can complement citation metrics and tell a bigger impact story (like ways your scholarship is shared via social media, or in the news).

Learn more: 


You've completed the Research Impact Challenge! It's been a delight to spend this week with you. We hope you found these activities useful and thought-provoking for your work at the university and beyond.

We hope you'll keep in touch!

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