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Impact Factors and Other Metrics

What they are

Publication metrics are measures of productivity/performance, quality, and impact/influence based on publication data and social media activity. 


  • There are varying levels of metrics: journal, article, and author.
  • No single metric is sufficient for measuring performance or impact. 
  • No single database will capture all publications for a single author.
  • Data from all databases requires review for accuracy. 

Altmetrics vs. Metrics

Traditional publication metrics measure the impact of an individual or their scholarship through citations. 

Altmetrics measure the quality and quantity of attention that a scholarly article has received through social media

How they're used

Publication metrics are used to:

  • Demonstrate qualification to undertake research project
  • Justification for grant renewal
  • Qualification for tenure/promotion
  • Performance and impact for a group
  • Benchmarking/Reporting
  • Institutional reporting