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Research Promotion & ImpactClick here to chat with a librarian

Find information and guidance on using tools for conducting research, including creating a researcher profile, measuring research impact, and marketing and social media. If you have suggestions for additional guides or require research assistance, contact us at

Metrics Toolkit

Provides evidence-based information about research metrics across disciplines, including how each metric is calculated, where to find it, and how to apply it.


Free altmetric information for over 100 million publications including grants, patents, clinical trials, and policy documents.

MyRI - Open Access Toolkit

Free online tutorial with three modules: Introduction to bibliometrics, Tracking your research impact, Journal ranking and analysis.

Research metrics are quantitative tools that aim to measure the impact of research outputs or individual researchers. Metrics based on the output of a researcher are known as author-level metrics. Three common author-level metrics are summarised below. 

Highly Cited Researchers 2021 by Clarivate Analytics provides a list of researchers who in the last 10 years have authored or co-authored the highest number of highly-cited research papers.  

The h-index (or Hirsch index) is an author-level metric that indicates how productive and influential an individual researcher is. It is based on the number and impact of a researcher’s publications. An h-index of 20 means that, out of all papers published by an author, 20 of them have been cited at least 20 times. It is best used to compare researchers working within the same field, due to differing citation conventions across research fields.  

Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar include the citation data for h-index in their databases. However, the h-index of an author will be different in each of these databases, since the number is calculated using their own database content. 

The g-index was designed as an improvement on the h-index, although it can be used to complement rather than simply replace the h-index. The key difference between the two is that the g-index puts more weight on a researcher's highly-cited papers. It is not as widely used as the h-index.

The i10-index was created by Google Scholar and is used only within Google Scholar. Another author-level metric, it is the number of publications with at least 10 citations.

Altmetrics (alternative metrics) consider a wide range of activity such as tweets, facebook posts, article views and downloads and discussion on scholarly networking sites and repositories. Many databases, Open Access archives (such as ArXiv) and repositories now contain this type of article level metrics.

A beginner's guide to altmetrics, Altmetric you tube channel, May 2016. 

An Altmetric Bookmarklet (once installed) is available to capture this data in Google Scholar. Here is an example:

Article metrics: what do they mean and why are they important to researchers?, Taylor and Francis, youtube video, July 2015.

We recommend the following online tools for altmetrics.

  • : tracks social media sites, newspapers, and magazines. Altmetrics only works in Chrome, Firefox or Safari. It can be added to the bookmarks toolbar and used to get altmetrics on articles with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) or identifiers in open access databases such as PubMed.
  • Figshare : a platform for sharing data in a citable, searchable and sharable manner. All data is persistently stored online under the most liberal Creative Commons licence. This allows scientists to access and share the information from anywhere in the world with minimal friction.
  • ImpactStory : open source, ImpactStory draws data from a variety of social and scholarly data sources, including Facebook, Twitter, PubMed, Scopus, Mendeley, Wikipedia, slideshare and figshare. 
  • Mendeley : a social reference manager that tracks readership of scholarly articles posted to the site; manage your research in the cloud and control who you share it with or make it publicly available and citable
  • Plum Analytics : a service that tracks metrics for journal articles, book chapters, datasets, presentations, and source code by collecting impact metrics across usage, captures, mentions, social media and citations (fee service).
  • PLOS ALMs (Article Level Metrics) : custom searches to track the access and reuse of articles published in PLOS journals. 

        See our Open Access guide for more OA resources and information.

Visualisation tools can assist in discovering and demonstrating connections or relationships between entities and may add clarity and impact to an analysis. The following online tools are freely available.


  • For Science of Science research and practice.
  • Provides advanced algorithms, effective visualisations, and many standard workflows.
  • Supports micro-level documentation and replication of studies.
  • Use to visualise co-author networks.


  • Open Source and free tool for Windows and Mac.
  • Supports visualisation of co-author networks.
  • Interact with the representation, manipulate the structure, shapes and colours to reveal hidden properties.
  • Make hypotheses, intuitively discover patterns, isolate structure singularities or faults during data sourcing.


  • Can be used for any type of data in a variety of formats.
  • Provide data visualisations in web browsers.
  • D3 helps bring data to life using HTML, SVG and CSS.  
  • Combines powerful visualisation components and a data-driven approach to Document Object Model manipulation.

VOS Viewer

  • Free standalone tool developed by Leiden University.
  • Networks may include journals, researchers, or individual publications, and they can be constructed based on co-citation, bibliographic coupling, or co-authorship relations.
  • Text mining functionality available.

Tableau Public

  • Free version of the Tableau data visualisation platform.
  • Compatible with data in Excel, CSV, PDF and Google Sheets formats.
  • Recommended for public and open data as visualisations will be saved and shared on your public profile.

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