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Manage Your Research Identity and Track Your Impact

This guide describes how to build a researcher identity online through the use of unique IDs and social media profiles. It also describes online tools for tracking the impact of your research.

Author Impact

A researcher's  impact  can measured using the number of times their academic publications are cited by other researchers. Citation metrics may reflect the impact of research in a field, but it is important to understand how the various metrics are calculated, and what their limitations are.  For example, most scholarly metric tools only capture a small fraction of citations that appear in books or book chapters, so they often do not accurately reflect the impact of those in the social sciences and humanities.

The h-index is the most widely used research metric. It measures both productivity (number of papers) and impact (number of citations) of an author's scholarly output.

Calculating your h-index

There are several subscription-based and free databases that can be used to calculate your h-index, as well as numerous other author-level metrics.  Because each database covers a different set of journals, your metrics may be different from database to database. If you find that not all of your publications are contained in any one database, you may want to use a customizable tool such as Publish or Perish.

Journal Impact

Journal impact measurements reflect the importance of a particular journal in a field and take into account the number of articles published per year and the number of citations to articles published in that journal.  Like author impact measurements, journal impact measures can be only so informative, and may not be the best way to assess impact.  Researchers in a discipline will have the best sense of the top journals in their field.

Journal Citation Reports  a comprehensive resource for journal evaluation, using citation data drawn from over 8,400 scholarly and technical journals. Coverage is both multidisciplinary and international,  incorporates journals from over 3,000 publishers in 60 nations and includes virtually all specialties in the areas of science, technology, and the social sciences.