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Scholarly Communications and Publishing Services

Supporting the creation, evaluation, dissemination, and preservation of the University's scholarly output

Measuring Research Impact

Researchers have a variety of options for measuring and describing the importance of their research. Bluford Library can help researchers at North Carolina A&T use metrics to demonstrate their research impact.

Author Metrics

  • H-index: measures the productivity and citation impact of an individual scholar. It is based on the author’s most cited papers and the number of citations they have received in other papers. An author’s h-index is the number of papers (h) that has received h or more citations. This metric is used by Web of Science and Google Scholar.
  • G-index: this index was proposed by Leo Egghe as an alternative to the h-index. The g-index is “[Given a set of articles] ranked in decreasing order of the number of citations that they received, the G-Index is the (unique) largest number such that the top g articles received (together) at least g^2 citations." (
  • i10-index: used by Google Scholar. The i10-index is the number of publications with 10 or more citations.

Journal Metrics

  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR): this database (part of ISI Web of Knowledge) provides impact factor and rankings for many journals.
  • Eigenfactor: measures a journal's importance to the scientific community based on the value of the articles published by one journal in one year. For more information about Eigenfactor and how it is calculated, please visit
  • Scimago Journal and Country Rank: this rank weighs citations based on the total number of citations received by a journal and the importance of the journals that cited it. This data is available in Scopus. For more information about Scimago, please visit
  • CiteScore: the number of citations received by a journal in one year to documents published in the three previous years (Scopus)
  • SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper): measures citation impact by weighting citations in a subject field (Scopus)


Altmetrics: this set of metrics provides data about research impact in real time, and can be used to complement traditional metrics. Here are some examples of altmetrics services:

  • Impact Story: this service aggregates altmetrics from multiple services into one report. It is freely available to anyone with an ORCID ID.
  • PLOS Impact Explorer: includes mentions of articles on social media and in news sources.
  • PLOS Article Level Metrics: provides a great deal of information about individual articles, including: downloads, citations, social media activity, blog/media coverage, and reader comments.
  • PlumX: tracks a variety of metrics for journals, books, datasets, conference proceedings, and more. (some features are subscription only)

Research Impact Services

  • The library licenses a number of resources that can be used to measure research impact. These include JCR, Web of Science, and Scopus. Librarians can help researchers learn how to use these databases.
  • Librarians can help researchers control their identity by helping set up an Open Researcher Community ID (ORCID), a Web of Knowledge Researcher ID, and a Google Scholar Citations Profile.
  • Librarians can provide instruction on different types of metrics, how they are calculated, and how they can be used to demonstrate a scholar’s research impact.

Additional Research Impact Resources