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Measuring your impact: Bibliometrics

Research funders, third level institutions and prospective employers increasingly evaluate research outputs using measures which include quantative indicators such as bibliometrics. Bibliometrics look at publication profiles and citation analyses, which are important grant and career measures for individual researchers. There are various tools available to generate bibliometric analyses and which enable authors to optimise their own profile.

RCSI Library has produced a guide to metrics which can be found here. Elsevier have created a series of reference cards, explaining the major research impact metrics, which you can access here.

Scopus is a major abstract and citation database which indexes research output in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts and humanities.

Scopus has over 70 million records, covering almost 23,000 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage of books, book chapters and conference proceedings continues to increase. There is strong coverage of pharmacology, European journals and patents.

In addition to being a resource to search for articles and other items, it is also extensively used to evaluate research. Your outputs (articles, conference papers, book chapters) are automatically gathered under a Scopus profile with a unique author identifier. Analyses such as h-index, number of citations, documents by type / source / year etc. can be displayed and downloaded to spreadsheets.

More information on Scopus content here.

Find Scopus on the Library's A-Z Resources page.

Copyright: Elsevier 2019

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Web of Science is a large suite of multidisciplinary databases which include many years of citation data. WoS Core Collection indexes over 20,000 journals and includes over 71 million records.  Citation analyses can be generated with ranking by author output and total citation count in addition to metrics such as h-index. Institutions and individual journals may be ranked by outputs and impact factors.

More information on Web of Science content here.

Find Web of Science on the Library's A-Z Resources page.

Google Scholar and Google Scholar Citations offer researchers another way to collate and present their work. The freeware application Publish or Perish can be used to analyse Google Scholar metrics and to download all citations.


SciVal is a benchmarking tool that uses Scopus data to allow you to visualize your research performance, benchmark relative to peer institutions, develop strategic partnerships, identify and analyze new, emerging research trends, and create uniquely tailored reports (


Create research groups from profiles of RCSI researchers as well as collaborators from other institutions, and use the benchmarking reports based on these groups to support funding applications or to inform strategic planning.  Current and potential collaborators can be identified and research trends analysed to discover the activity and impact of institutions and individuals and current developments.


It is advisable to avoid using just one metric; instead a range of metrics will provide a fuller picture.  Metrics are designed to complement and not replace peer review or expert opinion, so it is important to include them in your analysis also.


Five SciVal modules are available: Overview, Benchmarking, Collaboration, Trends and Impact.  It uses Scopus data for traditional publication and citation metrics and usage data from Scopus and ScienceDirect, global mass media, patents and funding awards to measure research visibility and socio-economic impact.


SciVal can be accessed from the Library website at:  Library's A-Z Resources page.


A guide to SciVal can be found here


Altmetrics complement traditional bibliometrics by tracking other mentions of your research outputs. They uncover items on social media, news sources, policy documents and patents. They can be an indicator of influence, as well as early impact prior to journal citations occurring, and data gathered can demonstrate how research is changing practice. Altmetric and PlumX are the two main providers, and their altmetrics on individual articles are normally freely available, sometimes being linked from records within journal databases, for instance PlumX metrics feature in Scopus.  


The Altmetrics Bookmarklet is a free tool that lets you quickly and easily see how much attention research papers have received. If you’re reading a scholarly article online and click the Bookmarklet’s “Altmetric It!” button, all of the altmetrics data for that paper will appear on the right side of the page. 


All RCSI users have access to Altmetric Explorer for Institutions, a platform that enables you to monitor the online activity surrounding academic research at RCSI. You can browse by author, group or department , benchmark against peer organisations (useful for identifying potential collaborators), report on the outcomes of outreach activity, and integrate the insights the data provides into evaluation and review processes. Elements which may be of particular interest to researchers at RCSI include:

  • Policy Document tracking: see whether a research paper has been mentioned in any one of a broad range of policy and guidance documents, including WHO policy documents.
  • Patent Citations: patents from nine jurisdictions worldwide are indexed, including the World Intellectual Property Organization, United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the European Patent Office.
  • Top Affiliations: See which institutions researchers at RCSI are collaborating with most often.
  • Top Outputs: Find out which RCSI publications have received the most attention and what sources and platforms this attention has come from.‚Äč This is especially useful for demonstrating research impact for grant applications or funder reporting.

Individual accounts have enhanced functionality, including email alerts, custom groups and workspaces. Create an individual account by clicking on the link on the bottom left of the Altmetric Explorer home pageSee below for a short introductory video on using the Altmetric Explorer for Institutions.