Measuring Impact

The University of Alberta Libraries subscribes to various databases to help researchers analyse the impact of their research. These tools use citation analysis, which is one method of measuring and analyzing research output and academic impact by the number, nature, and linkages between citations used in scholarly work.

For more information on citation analysis and bibliometrics, see: Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics

Author Level Metrics

There are many frameworks of measuring author impact: number and/type of of publications authored, number of citations received, and Author h-Index. This index is used to measure the productivity and citation impact of a scholar's work. These values are likely to be different because data sources vary by database.

The following databases include author metrics:

Web of Science

Interdisciplinary coverage through citation indexes for journals, conference proceedings, books and data with emphasis on the sciences, medical, engineering and to some extent social sciences and humanities. More: Thomson Reuters.


Coverage is predominantly publications in the areas of sciences, medicine, engineering and to a lesser extent the social sciences (includes Arts & Humanities, Business, Economics). More: Elsevier

Google Scholar

Coverage is broadly based, includes social sciences and humanities, and non-journal based literature. It is freely accessible, but the scope is unknown.

Name Disambiguation

Pulling accurate data is difficult when measuring research impact. Authors often have similar/same names or an author's name may change during their career.

The following can help to disambiguate an academic's work:


Provides a persistent digital identifier. Through integration in key research workflows, such as manuscript and grant submission, ORCID supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities.

Scopus Author Identifier

A service for articles indexed in Scopus.

Researcher ID

A service for articles indexed in Web of Science.

Journal Level Metrics

The following provide statistics such as, Impact Factor , which measures the citation impact of academic journals, the number of articles published per year, and annual citations to various journals.

Journal Citation Reports

Identifies top ranked journals by subject. JCR provides journal level metrics. Includes: Impact Factor, 5- year Impact Factor, Cited Half Life, Immediacy Factor, Eigenfactor and Article Influence Scores. Only journals indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection are assigned an impact factor.

Scopus Journal Analyzer

Select compare journals link in the Scopus database. Provides Source normalized impact paper per year SNIP, SCImago journal rank per year(SJR), Impact per publication per year (IPP).

This freely available site provides another measure of journal impact. Includes both sciences and social sciences journals.

Google Scholar Metrics

Provides both h5-index and h5-median, for top 100 journals by different disciplines and language of publication.

SCImago Journal Rank

Provides a measure of scientific influence of scholarly journals.

Alternative Metrics

Alternative metrics or altmetrics are an emerging field that seeks to measure the use and impact of scholarly articles. Altmetrics provide article-level data, such as number of downloads, publisher pageviews, repository or online reference managers, saves in Mendeley, or social media engagement.

Altmetric data can be retrieved from:

Article level metrics, and online activity concerning scholarly publishing.

Impact Story

Focus is to assist scholars explore and share impacts of all their research products. Including journal articles, blog posts, datasets, and software. First 30 days are free. Annual subscription is for a fee.

Publish or Perish

A free, downloadable program created by Anne Wil Harzing that uses Google Scholar data to determine statistics for an author, including h-index, g-index, total publications, total citations, and average citations per publication or per year.

PLOS Article Level Metrics

Offers alternative metrics for articles that appear in PLOS journals.


Provides by article altmetric data and presents data from and Mendeley.

Institutional Benchmarking


A citation based evaluation tool for analyzing institutional research productivity and benchmarking output.

Additional information:

For more information or help, please contact your subject librarian.